Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Thin Line Between Freedom and Constriction

Last time the conflict was between giving the game direction and not dictating the actions of the player’s characters. Today I am thinking more about the line between filling in detail, and setting dates and history, versus leaving it to the GM to tailor to his game as needed. Leaving things open is the best and most efficient way to let everyone run their own version of the game that is different from the next group and the next. Detailing a lot of material tends to generate in some circle much the same shouting, moaning, and general hatred generated by railroading. What is it with these circles?

Back when time was on my side and I could spend hours on end thinking, daydreaming, and writing my own game material like there was no tomorrow, the idea of a lot of material tightly defined in a game left me with mixed feelings. Reading the new Powers Unlimited from Palladium Booksâ I see a lot of powers that I would have found redundant several years ago because they are simple variations on the same idea, though some of them do have the occasional nice variance, or even better with a couple, a completely different application of the power possible.

That is one way in which I would have agreed that it was a waste of pages. However, now with more and varied responsibilities and demands on my time I think these additions will be helpful because I can’t just sit down and come up with them on my own in any reasonable amount of time. Thinking back to those days when the time was available I know that I was also aware that some things which were not detailed could have been and it left me with a feeling of lacking to the game depending on what it was that was missing. More about those missing things next time.

Mood: jumbled.
Music: It Sucks to Be You by Quiet Riot and Lightning Strikes Twice by Iron Maiden.

Quiet Riot: Rehab
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Iron Maiden: Virtual XI

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