Episode 145 – making a genre work (part 2)

* “Dan’s not quite long enough” continues!  To make your donation to March of Dimes’ Raina’s Wings charity, do so here.

* Skies of Glass comic artist search!   The character document is here.  Send submissions or questions to skiesofglass@gmail.com.

* Concepts we all understand but can’t quite define.

* Broadening Dan’s horizons.

* How to overcome the roadblocks to running a super hero game.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Comments (6)

AkiMay 4th, 2009 at 3:39 am

Wolf pack campaign:

The alpha male and female are the only ones allowed to copulate. All others have the means and drive to do so, but the alphas won’t allow it. Now, of course any male player would love to be in that position? Reaching it isn’t easy though. You require politics (to gain the backing), physical prowess (to actually win the alpha position and maintain it) and subtlety (so you won’t be kicked of the pack).

The players have a limited set of things they can communicate (it’s easy enough to find information on canine body language with a little research), they obviously can’t handle many things, and their skill sets are quite limited. Still, with enough work (mostly by the GM, but then again, that is always the case), it could be done. It won’t be something that will carry on for years in real time, but it doesn’t have to.

There are plenty of opportunities for scenarios: What if the territory of the pack is being invaded by another pack? What if there is a human settlement being built right in the center of their territory? What if the winter is harsher than usual and all the prey animals have moved south outside of their territory? What if some members of the pack are about to leave to form a new pack? What if a member has gone rogue and now humans are hunting down all wolves? What if the alpha dies suddenly? What if the litter is larger than expected?

And this I came up while reading the article of Gray Wolf on Wikipedia. So, as far as I can see, there is plenty of room to work with.

gwelfMay 4th, 2009 at 10:48 am

I think the discussion dwelled on the ‘what if one player is Superman and another is the Shoveler’ scenario. Any game has issues when there is a gross imbalance of player power – it’s akin to saying that Forgotten Realms is unplayable because one character might play Elminster and someone else might be playing a bar maid.

One thing that comics do regularly, though it’s usually over the top, is play with the characters emotions and faces them with moral dilemmas: the classic ‘do I save my girlfriend or save the bus full of children’. These sorts of things provide great role-playing scenarios.

anotherlameusernameMay 4th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I think you need to play a superhero game, but a superhero game based on Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, because it’s awesome, and that displays the gap in power levels between characters like Moist and Captain Hammer.

ChrisMay 4th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Just got an email from Raina’s Wings that they’re up to $4110 total, with $887 coming from Fear the Boot participants. Getting close! It said that the donation website will be up until the end of May so there’s still time…

Bob AlvarezJune 15th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

I love the superhero games my main goal in all my games is to get the players to buy into the character itself. Some of the best games I have ever run are the games where I present the storyline and the pcs run with it because they like the characters they have. Along the way I give them more details to continue on their interaction with the story. That’s why I love having the game screen behind that screen I provide the drama the humor the story hook we all need to complete the scenerio. When your heroes are that close achieving their goal, behind the screen I am rolling dice but the outcome is being dictated by place in the story they either fall short to win later or if they need a bone, give it them. I love flaws and drawbacks and I don’t believe that most GMs use those affectively. I like you guys, have made things tough by overthinking my storylines but experience goes a long way to being comfortable enough to do your story, you got just do it. Your storyline may only being a couple of sentences but it can work. Not sure I can convey what am thinking into these comments but for what it’s worth here you go. I feel like I just rambled on and said nothing.

Charles P FrederickApril 9th, 2022 at 2:40 pm

This discussion get a bit derailed by a fixation on how to gm games with vastly divergent player power. Sure you can have drama but if people enjoy combat and exploration and logistical challenge play then you need to have some parity in power.

Aside from that , I agree superhero games can be fine. Personally I get why many people want to get away from the typical modern superhero setting however.

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