UbiquitousRat's Roleplaying Dreams

UbiquitousRat's Roleplaying Dreams: October 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

Recurring Themes in SF

Anyone who games with me for any length of time will eventually notice that there are recurring themes which seem to find their way into the stories. This is probably the case for most GMs, given that we are each of us human beings fascinated by certain aspects of the universe around us.

This has got me thinking, however, about how to blend these ideas into something more coherent.

Are the themes that arise within us signals for what could make our own settings unique?

Can we blend the themes that fascinate us into something fresh?

Let's take SF for an example.

What makes SF gaming interesting?

This question has different answers for different people. Whilst some like the wild and wholly Space Opera of Star Wars, others will prefer the hard and scientific stories of Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke.

Personally I have always like the idea of a blend. I enjoy the harder scientific feeling of Asimov's writing but I also like the high adventure of other, less scientifically-minded, authors. As a believer in a spiritual reality, as opposed to the commonly assumed atheist worldview of much SF writing, I also want to visit the social, religious and psychological future as much as the scientific and technical one.

My SF, like my modern-era gaming, frequently nips at the edges of the following elements and themes:
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Saturday, 13 October 2012

How Not To Start A Campaign

Given that the new Rolemaster Arms Law is still awaiting release into playtest, and that we can't really start to run adventures until we have the combat rules, it was mildly disappointing to not be able to start our campaign last night.

That being said, it gives me a chance to keep working on preparations for the campaign and the players a chance to relax after building their characters.

Beginners Mind

A couple of my players have found it harder to build heroes than I expected, once I took away the direct support and asked them to type up a character sheet at home. Talking to them, though, the problem is obvious when I reflect on it.
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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Rules or Rulings?

Reading through the Rolemaster playtest forum posts over the past week, it has become apparent that there are two major but contrasting approaches in reading and using an RPG system.

The first is that the rules are there to control the game and the GM should not have to make rulings... they should follow the rules. If the rules don't cover something, and this should be rare, then the GM will make up a rule to "fix" the problem.

The second is that the rules are there to give the players a structure, however detailed, in which to play. In the end, however, the GM and the players get to decide... and if they can't agree it's the GM's job to make a ruling. 

Rules versus Rulings. These are different philosophies. 

Here's why...
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