Choose the Illusion: Dungeon Mastering





+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 155
  1. #1
    Game Developer
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    Matt James's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    744
    Silver ENnie Winner I Defended The Walls! I Defended The Walls!

    Ignore Matt James

    Choose the Illusion: Dungeon Mastering

    I put up a post on D&D's official blog and I wanted to share it. It is applicable to more than just D&D 4e and I hope it helps DMs in developing their next campaign or adventure.

    Whoops! Browser Settings Incompatible

    I wanted to extrapolate more on the process in the blog, but I didn't want to cloud the message too much.
    Matt James
    Lead Developer
    Vorpal Games
    http://www.twitter.com/matt_james_rpg

 

  • #2
    Registered User
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

    ExploderWizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fredericksburg
    Posts
    5,859

    Ignore ExploderWizard
    I found the blog post decently written for its topic but I do not agree with its content.

    To begin with, I do not see rpgs (at least all of them) as being about collaborative storytelling. For the sake of my next point though lets pretend that I do.

    So if we accept the premise that rpgs are about telling collaborative stories, how are they that exactly if we construct a predetermined ending? If there are 6 storytellers at the table, why does one particular one get to dictate an ending? That isn't collaboration as I see it.
    Death is for amateurs -Charlie Sheen

  • #3
    Game Developer
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    Matt James's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    744
    Silver ENnie Winner I Defended The Walls! I Defended The Walls!

    Ignore Matt James
    The players still act within the confines of the story. You, as the storyteller, are not directing their actions. Their contributions to the story are just as important. That's more to my point and I should have clarified it. The ending need not be a singular outcome, but a conduit to the next adventure. In this regard there is a single ending that moves the narrative to the next step (or the ending, if that's the case).
    Matt James
    Lead Developer
    Vorpal Games
    http://www.twitter.com/matt_james_rpg

  • #4
    Registered User
    Superhero (Lvl 15)

    D'karr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA 22192
    Posts
    3,034

    Ignore D'karr
    Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
    I found the blog post decently written for its topic but I do not agree with its content.

    To begin with, I do not see rpgs (at least all of them) as being about collaborative storytelling. For the sake of my next point though lets pretend that I do.

    So if we accept the premise that rpgs are about telling collaborative stories, how are they that exactly if we construct a predetermined ending? If there are 6 storytellers at the table, why does one particular one get to dictate an ending? That isn't collaboration as I see it.
    I have been the Technical Lead on many projects. I have also been a Team Member, or Subject Matter Expert (SME) on various projects. Even though, as a Tech Lead, I'm the one responsible for seeing the project to it's conclusion the project is always a collaboration. The input from each of those SMEs and Team Members is vital to a successful project.

    A TV Series might have a single producer, or multiple ones. They are responsible to getting the series out there. However, the TV show is still a collaboration. Some of those producers might also be writers for the show, and along with other writers bring the story forward. Each director has a different take on how he protrays things but he does so within the confines of what the producers will allow. So it is entirely a collaboration.

    As a DM, I'm responsible for getting the world out there to the players. The input from the players is vital to what actually happens in the "story". So yes, it is a collaboration. Without the players providing input it would be a very boring game indeed.
    Come see what we're doing at synDCon

    TROGDOR COMES IN THE NIIIIIGHT!!!!!

    D'karr - Burninating the countryside since 1995.

  • #5
    Mod Squad
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    Umbran's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    26,805
    Blog Entries
    6

    Ignore Umbran
    Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
    So if we accept the premise that rpgs are about telling collaborative stories, how are they that exactly if we construct a predetermined ending? If there are 6 storytellers at the table, why does one particular one get to dictate an ending? That isn't collaboration as I see it.
    "Collaboration" does not mean "all people play the same role in the activity". In any given collaborative effort, the group may turn to an individual for a decision on some particular aspect of the work, or it may be a particular person's role to provide certain decisions or specifications, much as D'karr notes. You see it in software development a lot these days, especially in Agile processes.

  • #6
    Registered User
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

    DEFCON 1's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Burlington, MA
    Posts
    5,502

    Ignore DEFCON 1
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    I put up a post on D&D's official blog and I wanted to share it. It is applicable to more than just D&D 4e and I hope it helps DMs in developing their next campaign or adventure.

    Whoops! Browser Settings Incompatible

    I wanted to extrapolate more on the process in the blog, but I didn't want to cloud the message too much.
    Looks to be similar to Dave Chalker's '5x5 method' over on critical-hits.com. Granted, his was geared more towards campaign plotting than encounter building, but both use the same premise: creating several different signposts for the players to possibly come across as they drive the story forward. Thus, there's no single straight story heading towards the conclusion, there are several.

  • #7
    Registered User
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

    S'mon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    15,233

    Ignore S'mon
    Well, you seem to be advocating "choose your own adventure", Fighting Fantasy Gamebook, only with a GM. This would seem to rather take away most of the benefit of having an actual person running the game.

    Still, it's definitely superior to the totally linear, railroaded approach.

    I've just been reading EGG's Yggsburgh book, prepping for a game tonight. Yggsburgh is essentially a near-infinite matrix of plot - wherever you go, you hit 1 or more plot hooks*; each hook leads naturally to several more, and on. Some are static/location based, many others exist in the random tables. Being written for C&C (or AD&D etc) it's designed to be runnable with the players having effectively infinite choice on what they do, where they go. I certainly think that as a DMing aid to give players real choice, this is a superior approach. There are individual nested adventures/dungeons in there where the dungeon map creates naturally limited choice, but the players are free to choose whether to engage with any particular dungeon.

    *There seem to be well over a thousand of these in there, from short paragraphs to 15-page adventures.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #8
    Game Developer
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    Matt James's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    744
    Silver ENnie Winner I Defended The Walls! I Defended The Walls!

    Ignore Matt James
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    This would seem to rather take away most of the benefit of having an actual person running the game.
    I'm not following this point. Can you expand upon it? The cards should never be viewed as concrete. The players won't even be aware of them. They are meant to be a tool in constructing your campaign or encounter. It also gives you the chance to go back and add unique twists and turns.
    Matt James
    Lead Developer
    Vorpal Games
    http://www.twitter.com/matt_james_rpg

  • #9
    Registered User
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)



    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,083

    Ignore GSHamster
    I confess that I really did not understand the grid of cards. Are you saying that given a grid:

    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7 8 9

    Encounter 1 leads to 2 or 4, encounter 2 leads to 3 or 5, etc.? It is never explicitly stated how the grid works.

    If so, isn't this extremely wasteful? You have to write up 9 encounters, only 5 of which are used.

  • #10
    Game Developer
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    Matt James's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    744
    Silver ENnie Winner I Defended The Walls! I Defended The Walls!

    Ignore Matt James
    Quote Originally Posted by GSHamster View Post
    I confess that I really did not understand the grid of cards. Are you saying that given a grid:

    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7 8 9

    Encounter 1 leads to 2 or 4, encounter 2 leads to 3 or 5, etc.? It is never explicitly stated how the grid works.

    If so, isn't this extremely wasteful? You have to write up 9 encounters, only 5 of which are used.
    I wouldn't recommend writing up complete elements, rather a summary. It's less about being complete, and more as a roadmap so you can plan accordingly. If you are great at improvisation and thinking on the fly with creatures, twists, and turns, it might not work best for you.
    Matt James
    Lead Developer
    Vorpal Games
    http://www.twitter.com/matt_james_rpg

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 1 of 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Legends and Lore : The Fine Art of Dungeon Mastering
      By Gundark in forum RPGs & Tabletop Gaming Discussion
      Replies: 82
      Last Post: Friday, 9th September, 2011, 05:24 PM
    2. The old "illusion of damsels" dungeon ruse
      By Bullgrit in forum RPGs & Tabletop Gaming Discussion
      Replies: 25
      Last Post: Monday, 31st August, 2009, 11:05 AM
    3. Replies: 0
      Last Post: Thursday, 7th April, 2005, 08:31 PM
    4. FFG: Dungeon Craft & School of Illusion
      By Darke in forum RPGs & Tabletop Gaming Discussion
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: Thursday, 14th November, 2002, 09:19 PM
    5. The Illusion - PrC for gnomes and illusion lovers - overhaul
      By Isida Kep'Tukari in forum D&D and Pathfinder
      Replies: 13
      Last Post: Monday, 22nd July, 2002, 06:05 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •