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    "Illusionism" and "GM force" in RPGing

    These things - illusionism, GM force - are recurrent topics of conversation. Here is a passage from The Traveller Book (1982, p 123); it is found in a description of types of scenario/adventure: The choreographed novel [my emphasis] involves a setting already thought out by the referee and...
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    Middle Earth/LotR RPGing using Cortex+ Heroic

    A few years ago I started a Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy mini-campaign, using my own hack of Marvel Heroic RP inspired by the Cortex+ Hacker's Guide. I've now had the idea of using Heroic Fantasy to do Middle Earth/LotR. For translating JRRT into RPGing my main inspiration is Burning Wheel's elves...
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    Classic Traveller actual play: Annic Nova meets Alien

    Context Our group's most recent RPG sessions have been Prince Valiant, but yesterday we returned to our Classic Traveller campaign for the first time in (I would guess) 6+ months. I suggested Traveller for two reasons: (1) One of our group has been absent for a long time due to home renovation...
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    What is at stake for the PCs?

    As some of you will know I've been playing a fair bit of Prince Valiant lately. In my most recent actual play thread I posted this quote from the rulebook: Normally death [of PCs] is not an important part of Prince Valiant. What is important? Glory. Family. For some of the PCs in our game...
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    Prince Valiant actual play - our most recent sessions

    Our last two sessions of Prince Valiant have seen the PCs trying to make their way from France to the Holy Land. The first of these saw the PCs (and entourage) arriving at Marseille, where they arranged to take ship using the letters of passage that had been gifted them by the King of France as...
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    Experiencing the fiction in RPG play

    The topic of this thread is well-trodden ground, but there doesn't seem to be an active thread about it. And I have some things I want to say about it. I'm going to speak from the GM side, because I mostly GM although I do have an active PC in an active campaign that I wish I could play more...
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    Another Prince Valiant session report

    Our Prince Valiant game continued yesterday. It was an episode of love, lust, longing, and (romantic) loyalty. As the name of the game suggests, the setting is Arthurian Britain. In our game we've used the map of Britain found on the inside back cover of Pendragon 5.2, and as the action has now...
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    More Prince Valiant: our session today

    My group's last session of Prince Valiant ended with the PCs, leading their religous order (the Knights of St Sigobert) and a peasant army, having conquered a Duke's castle in or about Bordeaux. Today's session saw quite a bit of action. At the start of the session two of the PCs - the minstrel...
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    Systems for PC-led gangs/crews/etc

    In my Prince Valiant game two of the four PCs are the leaders of a holy military order that they founded - the Order of St Sigobert. One is the Master of the order, the other its Marshall. When they lead their soldiers into battle that is resolved using the system's mass combat rules - which is...
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    Prince Valiant session today

    Since my last post about my group's Prince Valiant game, we've played two sessions of it. (Other sessions played in the meantime have included Classic Traveller, The Dying Earth and Cthulhu Dark.) The first of those saw the PCs mustering recruits for their military order - the Holy Order of St...
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    Players choose what their PCs do . . .

    The function of players in RPGing is often described as deciding what their PCs do. But this can be quite ambiguous. A classic article on the analysis of actions (Donald Davidson, "Actions, Reasons, and Causes" (1963)) gives the following example: I flip the switch, turn on the light, and...
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    Situation, setting and "status quo"

    I've been reading the rulebook for Apocalypse World. It's not the first Vincent Baker RPG rulebook I've read, and the punchy style and unequivocal evocation of the spirit of the fiction and the expected feel of play is not surprising. There's one particular bit that I wanted to post about...
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    Stakes and consequences in action resolution

    This thread is a spin-off of the DC to tell that a NPC is telling the truth thread. It starts with some context, sblocked for length, and then a question: The first sentence of your second paragraph in the last quote is the answer to the second question (making them choose between being...
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    Cthulhu Dark - another session

    There were only three of us at our session today (real life getting in the way for the others), so we played some Cthulhu Dark There was one player, and me, who had played this system before, but it's not a hard system to introduce a new player to! PC build is name, occcuation, description. So...
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    Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?

    Some recent threads have discussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond...
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    Played The Dying Earth RPG for the first time today

    We were inquorate for our session today, and so didn't pick up any of our ongoing campaigns. Instead I GMed a session of The Dying Earth for two players. It's quite a while since I read the rules, but we worked through PC creation and then played through the sample adventure in the rulebook...
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    The cruelty of Classic Traveller's psionics acquisition system

    We played a session of Traveller yesterday. Following on from our previous session, the PCs all returned to their orbiting ship (some from another vessel in orbit; others from their on-world excursion); fired on and (thereby) degraded the computer of an an Imperial satellite that had stored...
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    I really enjoyed today's Classic Traveller session . . .

    . . . and so thought I would post about it. Yesterday I watched both Star Wars (Episode IV) and Gravity with my girls, in preparation for GMing Traveller today, and as things played out I think both helped me. Last session, the PCs were in three groups: the majority in the scientific research...
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    Classic Traveller - played a session today

    We played a session of Classic Traveller today. I'll sblock some lengthy play accounts before offering some thoughts as referee. Prior session context The PCs had defeated their enemies by first tricking their way onto the latter's starship, then taking it over, then using it to assault the...
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    A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life

    This thread is a spin-off of this thread. Its immediate trigger is the following post: In real life, people move through a physcially-structured environment where events happen in accordance with causal processes. Notions of request, permission, decision etc have no explanatory work to do in...
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