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Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 05:18 PM #471
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
you'll probably be fine with that, but for the future, keep in mind that Dread likes to have the players invent those explanations.
So avoid making statements on the sheet like "you've been tasked by the Company to keep tabs on the Captain because he's been acting odd. "
Try to make it a question that the player fills in:
"Why are you concerned with the captain's odd behavior?"
You manipulated the player into being concerned with the captain's behavior, but left the reason for the player to decide.
This gives you 2 things:
buy-in on you telling the player what their PC is like because you assigned the trait, but they get to define the cause
variability of character definition. Different player will answer that question differently, which will drive different results in more ways than you expect than if you assign the whole trait and cause.Janx
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Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 05:38 PM #472
Lama (Lvl 13)
I thought it would be better to create a strong motivation that would fit into the session rather than chance getting a response that wouldn't fit in. But I see what you're getting at.
Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 07:08 PM #473
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
If you go into running a Dread game with an open mind and willingness to improvise, you'll often find that the players' ideas are better than your own. In another Dread game that starts out as a police procedural, the first time I ran it, one of the players had a theory that fit the evidence better than the 'right'' one. I rewrote the middle act of the game on the fly to accommodate it, and the game turned out ten times better.
You'll find Dread a lot more rewarding to run if you keep things loose.
Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 07:32 PM #474
Lama (Lvl 13)
Good points. I'm going to keep things as loose and improvise as much as I can but I'm primarily a player and have a tough time doing it from the other side of the screen. It's a lot easier to improvise when I don't have to worry about sustaining the plot and pacing and such.
Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 08:00 PM #475
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Take Rodrigo's comments to heart. He's an excellent GM, especially with Dread.
Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 11:33 PM #476
Novice (Lvl 1)
I've run two Dread games myself. The first went great (I posted on it sometime back), the second went ... not so great. (I didn't pay enough attention to how people were "helping" me re-stack the tower: They neglected to alternate each level, which made the tower terribly unstable and resulted in a string of quick deaths that led to a quick TPK.)
But each time, despite doing a ton of preparation (including reading every page of this thread and taking lots of notes), I too-often felt lost—and I'm hardly inexperienced at GM'ing in general.
To that end, I would like to make a humble request to one of the Great Dread GM's. Brace yourself, you probably aren't going to like it: Could you please videotape a session so we newbies can learn by example?
Honestly, I'm begging here—and offering my services as video editor, uploader, and anything else you need... if you can just get me the straight digital footage.
I understand there are hurdles to this (player consent, camera shyness, etc.). But I think it's worth trying to overcome these hurdles: The result would be incalculably valuable to people wanting to run their first (or third) game, not to mention introducing new people to the awesome that is Dread.
Moreso than any other game, Dread depends on the GM's performance. I don't mean assuming accents and the like (never a good idea... unless Christopher Walken is one of your NPCs). I mean things like illustrating how you maintain the pacing and the atmosphere, handle private "asides" with players, keep the delicate mood when everyone wants to talk to you at once, or even your use of specific techniques (like PirateCat walking around behind players to whisper in their ears).
I know for a fact that seeing a single session run by a good GM would teach me more than the hundreds of thousands of words I must have read on Dread thus far. The math certainly adds up — a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is really a million little pictures
Of course, an audio recording is another option, one that would be welcomed and genuinely appreciated!
But I think there's no other game that has so much to gain from an illustrative video... and it's such a great game!
Saturday, 24th March, 2012, 02:46 AM #477
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Here's a podcast I found some time ago, but never linked because I suck.
The Walking Eye Podcast Blog Archive Dread Actual Play
It's a quick playthrough of Beneath a Metal Sky, and it sounds like they had pretty good time.
I would like to hear one of PirateCats games, or Epidiah's games, or...basically any of the folks here who run the game well, of which there are many.
If I ever get my players together again for a Dread game, I'll see if they're willing to get recorded for posterity, but I make no claim of Dread-running Mastery.
"The only thing worth writing about is people." -Harlan Ellison
Saturday, 24th March, 2012, 04:45 AM #478
Novice (Lvl 1)
A digital camera pointed in the direction of a Dread game would make my Christmas. Three or four, even. (And again, I'm happy to do all of the work after the footage is recorded!)
Tuesday, 27th March, 2012, 02:27 PM #479
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
You'd want to tape Piratecat. He does voices. I don't do voices.
I think you may be overestimating the GMs participation in Dread, though, which (at least for me) is less proactive than in a traditional RPG. I'm sitting back and letting the players advance the plot and taking the moments when they're interacting with each other to think about how to incorporate their ideas in future scenes. If you know your setting fairly well, and especially the motivations/goals of the characters' nemesis, then it's easier to improvise. None of my Dread games have more than a page of notes, with NPC names and a brief description, and a plot summary that's often no more than the intro blurb for the game and the stuff that the PCs don't know.
Playing NPCs is much as it is in a traditional RPG, though.
Come to GenCon or Origins and I'm sure someone would run a Dread game.
Last edited by Rodrigo Istalindir; Tuesday, 27th March, 2012 at 02:36 PM.
Tuesday, 27th March, 2012, 04:25 PM #480
A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)
I have audio recordings -- including one of Barsoomcore and his wife, Epidiah and Emily Care Boss, KidCthulhu, JC and Seonaid -- but that's not something I'd post without permission. I agree that a video would be more useful. Tricky to do, though.
- Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.