Episode:543 - West Marches

Anything related to our regular or bonus episodes.
User avatar
Ikoma
Actually Slew the Baron
Posts: 14062
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:29 pm
Location: Pleasant Grove, UT
Contact:

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Ikoma » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:59 pm

West Marches games are designed to solve a specific set of problems. If you do not currently suffer from those problems, I don't know that the full West Marches game setup is required.

Specifically, a West Marches game is useful when you have a large pool of players with irregular schedules. As has been noted, creating more GMs solves this problem. Finding player groups whose irregular schedules mesh well with each solves this problem. But if those don't work, a West Marches game can do it. I've seen it work once. A FLGS in a college town ran a game like this. A small pool (often just one) of GMs posted when he could run games. Players would post that they were available (along with PC class/level) until the game was full. Then those players would vote on where they wanted to explore and the GM would run essentially a hex crawl 'discovery' game. The consequences of that session would be recorded.

This let a player tap out of they had a date this week, or had a tough assignment that was taking up more time. And since players came and went, it was hard for other people to get the reputation to get a full table of players. I do know that some permanent groups kind of spun off off this larger game but since new students were always coming to the college town, there was always a new (and relatively large) pool of players.
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Wayne
Host
Posts: 8197
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Wayne » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:04 pm

Ikoma wrote:West Marches games are designed to solve a specific set of problems. If you do not currently suffer from those problems, I don't know that the full West Marches game setup is required.

Specifically, a West Marches game is useful when you have a large pool of players with irregular schedules. As has been noted, creating more GMs solves this problem. Finding player groups whose irregular schedules mesh well with each solves this problem. But if those don't work, a West Marches game can do it. I've seen it work once. A FLGS in a college town ran a game like this. A small pool (often just one) of GMs posted when he could run games. Players would post that they were available (along with PC class/level) until the game was full. Then those players would vote on where they wanted to explore and the GM would run essentially a hex crawl 'discovery' game. The consequences of that session would be recorded.

This let a player tap out of they had a date this week, or had a tough assignment that was taking up more time. And since players came and went, it was hard for other people to get the reputation to get a full table of players. I do know that some permanent groups kind of spun off off this larger game but since new students were always coming to the college town, there was always a new (and relatively large) pool of players.



While a different beast entirely I thing D&D Adventure League could be looked at as a West Marches game of sorts. Specifically when being run at a gamestore with a large pool of players that come and go each week.
Clementine Paddleford wrote:Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.

User avatar
Glenn
I am the story stick
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:15 am

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Glenn » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:08 am

If you're running more of a sandbox/get the loot type game this makes the world feel more lived in. I would like the idea that the players can't talk about what happened out of game. The characters have to talk it out in game.

User avatar
Chad
Host
Posts: 20222
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Chad » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:29 am

Ikoma wrote:West Marches games are designed to solve a specific set of problems. If you do not currently suffer from those problems, I don't know that the full West Marches game setup is required.




I agree with you, it's a tool that helps fix certain problems.

When this was pitched to me the 1st couple of times (not by the host for the show, before that) it was pitched as a great and fun new way of playing RPGs.

I was like uhhhh... that seems like a less fun new way to play RPGs but very good in certain (less than ideal) situations.

Glad to be hearing I wasn't wrong. :)

User avatar
clintmemo
Questing for the elusive New Title
Posts: 22734
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:38 am
Location: Louisville KY
Contact:

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby clintmemo » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:05 am

Chad wrote:
Ikoma wrote:West Marches games are designed to solve a specific set of problems. If you do not currently suffer from those problems, I don't know that the full West Marches game setup is required.




I agree with you, it's a tool that helps fix certain problems.

When this was pitched to me the 1st couple of times (not by the host for the show, before that) it was pitched as a great and fun new way of playing RPGs.

I was like uhhhh... that seems like a less fun new way to play RPGs but very good in certain (less than ideal) situations.

Glad to be hearing I wasn't wrong. :)


You should play in a west marches game, but as a perpetual special guest star, playing a different character every time you showed up.
2021 Goal: Not to repeat 2020

User avatar
Mikel
ZCE's Grandmother's Quantum Cat
Posts: 5780
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Mikel » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:11 am

Wayne wrote:
While a different beast entirely I thing D&D Adventure League could be looked at as a West Marches game of sorts. Specifically when being run at a gamestore with a large pool of players that come and go each week.


I'm glad D&DAL is there to bring people into the hobby but it's exactly what doesn't interest me in RPGs. Character development and emotional stakes become pretty blunted when you lost consistency of players.
Confessions of an Improv GM. Player/GM Advice, APs, and the 8 Minute Story Challenge.

User avatar
Wayne
Host
Posts: 8197
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Wayne » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:27 am

Mikel wrote:
Wayne wrote:
While a different beast entirely I thing D&D Adventure League could be looked at as a West Marches game of sorts. Specifically when being run at a gamestore with a large pool of players that come and go each week.


I'm glad D&DAL is there to bring people into the hobby but it's exactly what doesn't interest me in RPGs. Character development and emotional stakes become pretty blunted when you lost consistency of players.


Yeah organised play is definitely not for everyone. I found I didn't want to play at all, but I really enjoyed GMing the beginners tables. I tried to bring as much character interaction with NPCs in as I could and really focused on encouraging outside the box thinking. They have come a long way on encouraging that and getting away from XP only for fighting. Even so I always thought of it as something different and on the side and it would never be my main gaming.
Clementine Paddleford wrote:Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.

User avatar
Ikoma
Actually Slew the Baron
Posts: 14062
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:29 pm
Location: Pleasant Grove, UT
Contact:

Re: Episode:543 - West Marches

Postby Ikoma » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:35 am

It's been over a decade since I lived down near the store that was doing this West Marches game, but as I remember it, character development started to become more of a player concern and less of a GM concern. The characters knew of each other, and started to have reactions to each other; cooperative, competitive, romantic, hero worship, etc. Players would target joining specific games so they could play with 'the dynamic duo[1]'. Other groups would have competitive races with other groups to track down a rumored dungeon of XXXX. I even have vague memories of two groups competing to have a specific cleric character team up with them.[2]

Ultimately, it appeared to me that while the West Marches game might diffuse the ability of the GM to create the same kind of meaningful character development and interaction opportunities, the presence of such a diverse pool of PCs (who acted like NPCs often do) created a new avenue for spontaneous character interaction.

[1] Sorry, I do not remember any PC names from the setup. I never actually played in it, just observed it from behind the counter, so to speak.

[2] Also sorry, I don't remember why that cleric was going to be so valuable in clearing the specific content. I actually don't think I ever knew.

[3] Yeah, you probably ought to take all my recollections on this with a grain of salt.
ImageImageImageImageImageImage


Return to “Fear the Boot”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron