Monday, 4 April 2011

"The MC, a GM"

Here's Jeff Rients:
Always Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing...Your players are rock stars and they're here to rock your house. In this paradigm your job is to be the roady and the manager and all the other people who make the concert possible.

Here's Vincent Baker:
Why we play: because the characters are fucking hot...You are a master of ceremonies...Be a fan of the player's characters.

Here's Jeff Rients:
Give the players the sun and make them fight for the moon - What I mean is that you give the players almost everything they want and them put them through a thousand chinese hells to get everything else. ut the PCs on the throne of Aquilonia, if that's what they want, then have ten-thousand angry Cimmerians invade.

Here's Vincent Baker:
Respond with fuckery and intermittent rewards. As in "fuck around with" not "fuck over". Intermittently, though, right, give one of the players’ characters
exactly what she hoped for, and maybe go a little beyond.

Here's Jeff Rients:
Your NPCs suck and they are all going to die

Here's Vincent Baker:
Look through crosshairs. Whenever your attention lands on someone or something that you own — an NPC or a feature of the landscape, material or social — consider first killing it, overthrowing it, burning it down, blowing it up, or burying it in the poisoned ground.

Here's Jeff Rients:
When in doubt, let a player roll some dice - If your Inner Magic 8-Ball isn't giving you anything to work with, sometimes you should pitch things back to the players in the form of requesting a die roll.

Here's Vincent Baker:
Sometimes, disclaim decision-making. In order to play to find out what happens, you’ll need to pass decision-making off sometimes. Whenever something comes up that you’d prefer not to decide by personal whim and will, don’t....you can put it in the players’ hands...Turn questions back on the asker or over to the group at large.



So there.

9 comments:

  1. To be less obscure:

    -Where are those from?
    Jeff Rients' advice is from his blog (http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/09/how-to-awesome-up-your-players.html) and it's about how he runs old school D&D. Vincent's stuff are the principles and moves and just bits from Apocalypse World.

    -Those two sets of advice are not exactly the same!
    Well d'uh, they're for different games, by two different people from different groups.

    -Should I do this as a GM?
    Depends. Certainly not for all games.

    -What's your point?
    That AW is "old-school"? That there are no "schools" in the first place?

    And that there are types or categories or variants of GM roles (the Apocalypse World MC is one of them).

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  3. Will you compare what Vincent Baker and Zak S say about lists in your next post?

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  4. Johnstone, man I totally would, if I had the time to go dig back through all those old blog posts...Mabye sometime if someone doesn't do it sooner.

    I think there's also at least a few things James Raggi and James Maliszewski have been saying that would click, too. Interesting stuff.

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  5. Oh, it was a rhetorical question, really. Here, I'll do it sooner: They both say put all your setting material into lists. Only Vincent says just pick off 'em and Zak wants numbers so he can roll dice.

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  6. For the record, the only thing I've seen Vincent do I wouldn't is point to in-game situations that I find totally boring and go "Isn't that cool?"

    Taste being taste and all.

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  7. Zak, sure. I do say in the comments that they are, nevertheless, different games (that serve different ends).

    My point was that there is no immediately recognizable difference between the techniques used, and dispel the notion that there were such things as actual "schools" of roleplaying - it's all one big melting pot.

    Pointing to situations that you would find boring and saying "isn't this cool?" sounds like it's exactly what I mean when I talk about incompatible agendas. The techniques can be the same, heck, the setting and characters can be the same. But what is recognized as fun, what's the priority of exploring in play, that's different.

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  8. @gregor

    if you'd like to start this whole thing over again we can do that, just let me know.

    since you gave up answering my questions on the MArvel thing I figured you didn't really care

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