Tag Archives: role-playing

Weekly linkage

Down to six hundred sixteen unread Google Reader items! Here are some of the coolest of the nearly 200 I’ve read in the last couple of weeks (as well as random surfing, of course):

D & D: Erathis Save Us

The setting: our town fell through a portal into a dark and inhospitable world. Luckily, Erathis shines upon us and keeps the darkness at bay… for now.

Except that the portal’s not closed. Little pockets of other worlds and planes are landing outside the town, chock full of baddies. Who’s going to squash these bugs?

Four adventurous types with big weapons and the gods’ backing step up to the plate.

So they’re a little breakable right now. They’ll grow into it, we’re sure. Or we’ll replace them.

Flimsy plot? Yes. It’s essentially a miniatures game, combat-only. Greg and I (playing two characters each) are going to work our way through the Monster Manuals 1 and 2 by monster level.

Continue reading D & D: Erathis Save Us

Assisting in Story Telling: Fun But Complicated

Last weekend at the city-wide Geist live-action roleplaying game I play in, I let Greg twist my arm into running a plot. In a game the size of ours (10-20 people, depending on sleep schedules), there almost has to be more than one person running stories–there just isn’t enough of one game master’s attention to go around.

The trouble with me getting involved in running plots is that Greg is the main game master (or “story teller”, in the Geist system). Nepotism, anyone? Eep.

I was very, very worried about accusations of such, especially since I’ve been accused by others of using my “feminine wiles” to get judgments in my favor in tabletop games.

I guess I should just be flattered that he thought I had wiles to use. Can’t say I was, really.

Continue reading Assisting in Story Telling: Fun But Complicated

“Observation” posted!

Jackie in a hamperChapter 8 of The Witches of Ming Ung, “Observation” is up, and picks up right where “Interception” left off:

“Hardi, why in all the worlds wouldn’t we tell Wilder about this?” Robert asked, waving a hand at her comm. He’d just listened to the ransom note for the second time, and was sitting at the desk with his feet propped up.

Yet. Not tell him yet.” Hardi stood still in the middle of the room, staring at the floor with her hands tucked in her pockets. “And I… don’t know,” she said slowly.

After that deep voice had threatened to go on “vacation” for a week, Hardi had listened to the message again. And again, until the rough voice was etched into her memory. Robert had walked in on her standing as she was now, letting the file loop. She’d looked at him guiltily, but let it play for him.

Robert sat leaned back and balanced his chair on two legs. “Have you had one of your visions? Does it feature you as the heroine, saving the planet from the bad guys?”

Continue reading “Observation” posted!

Tidying up LARP character sheets: an app in progress

So. I LARP. Twice a month, I go out of my house dressed like a nurse and stand around acting like I see ghosts and have an extra-special creepy ghost of my own on my shoulder.

Yeah, so if I’m late to your Saturday afternoon picnic this summer, this is likely why.My Geist LARP character
I LARP in White Wolf‘s Geist system, which is very new in the LARP world — the worldwide game just started in March. There’s one person that has taken it upon herself to create and maintain (sorta) Excel character sheets, and the sheets for the Vampire game seem up-to-date and fully functioning. The Geist one isn’t so much, alas.

Instead of mucking with Excel files — which don’t work in OpenOffice or GDocs very well — I’m going to move this whole idea online. The idea’s in architecture/design, but the core idea is simple: a place where people can make, save, and print World of Darkness character sheets. It’s going to be tailored at LARPing in the Camarilla for the moment, including fields for member numbers and such. It’s designed so as to be easy to add other World of Darkness games — those of a certain version adhere to the same formulas, by and large.

The initial release’s functionality is simple, too. Folks create an account in a very slim process — username and password, with a (re)CAPTCHA to cut down on spammage. When you create a character sheet, you pick which game you’re playing. Initally, that’ll be base World of Darkness or Geist.

At this point, you’ll enter the Creation Mode with the standard White Wolf 5/4/3 dots for attributes, 11/7/4 for skills, etc. Once all those dots are used, you move into Edit Mode.

Edit Mode is where complications have to be reduced, because XP needs to be redistributable and every use logged. The purchase of dots should be customizable; maybe your GM ST let you buy that dot at half cost. The XP log needs to be easy to get to and easily edited. If you delete one too many attribute dots, too, you need to end up back in Creation Mode until that dot is spent. Add in custom starting XP and the ability to add custom merits (etc.).

At any time in this process, you can enter character name, your name, your Archetype, Vice, Virtue — all that stuff that would be at the top of a standard character sheet.

Simple enough.

Problem is, I don’t have a solid feel on the interface I want. My first thought is to mimic a paper sheet to hide the complexity that’s going on behind the scenes. This is all stuff that players don’t really think about, and I don’t want to force a change in their model.An example paper character sheet
Another approach would be a tabbed interface that split up the “sheet” into major blocks — attributes, skills, powers, etc. Much harder to skim, less flexible in terms of making sidebars useful. Plus, the D & D character building software takes a tabbed approach, and I found pretty annoying. I’m not a normal user, though.

Other than those two options…?