Monday, 27 May 2013

The Dreaded D-Pad

I went to the Rugby on Sunday with several others including a good mate who is and always has been an avid console gamer. We've crossed paths with roleplay many years ago but he never took to miniature gaming, prefering D-Pad to D6.

Catching up gaming wise and chatting about Dark Heresy I was describing our various recent issues and frustrations and suddenly had something a of mini eureka moment. As a player group we've got in a lot of hours with the character sheets, we've all also played a lot of virtual RPG with WoW, Knights of the Old Republic and Skyrim eating horrific numbers of hours between us.

We qualify as proper geeks, just with the ability to shower more often!

At the end of the day all RPG adventures are essentially linear, you've got to get from the start to the end, but it's all about how you get there. To me the real skill of a GM is to create what I refer to as the "Illusion of Choice" i.e. that the players have actual choice as to how they go about things. I feel that a major GM skill is being able deal with things on the fly, it's soemthing I really enjoy as a GM. As such I tend to write most of my own adventures, often by bullet point, and when I use pre-written stuff I tend to strip them down and basically scavenge the bits I want, quite often from the pages of 2000AD!

In recent years RPG games have expanded their play area massively, the ability to just bimble about along with multiple character builds and options is a minimum requirement.

 Having recently played a LOT of Skyrim I took a mace and shield warrior build through to level 35 before needing a change. Restarting with an archer / asssassin the whole gaem ahs been revitalised for me. Avoiding the main storyline and pursuing the Thieves Guild story I'm level 35 again having avoided dragons like the plague and repeating very few previously completed quests and haven't even begun to slow down.

So, having eventually arrived at my point have RPG video games spoilt us or simply raised the bar? Plenty of poor RPG style video games out there but they've all been designed and playtested right? The AI engine controls the virtual enviroment and everything in it, so it should all be down to the quality of the programmers / writers? With a traditional RPGyou introduce the human element coin, i.e. the ability to feck up vs the ability to react and be inspired.

To be honest I think I may have become a bit spoilt becasuse as much as it can be about the GM's ability to deal with the adventure, including it's limits and flaws, surely it's also about the playing group's ability to do the same warts, limits, flaws and all?

May just be time to help Mr C rather than just give feedback......damn it!! ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment