I’ve had some really “interesting” conversations with people over the last few weeks about table-top games (DnD, WoD, Fate, etc.) and the rules that “control” them. And not just about the rules, but also the concepts of how games must be run a certain way and with certain constraints (I’m speaking mostly WoD and Fate here), regardless of the rules used.
On the face-palm end of it, some people have really cemented themselves into an inflexible system where the rules are Any-Ol-God’s Own Voice and you can’t deviate from the rules or traditional play arrangement. For instance, you have to have a certain number of players and the classes can’t be intermingled or made hybrid. And God-Of-Your-Choice forbid that you add skills, merits, stunts, or other talents that aren’t officially offered and sanctioned by the publisher. Ironically, most of these people are also hoping desperately that revised rules will be published or that a new gaming system will come along to make it better and fix flaws that they perceive yet defend all at the same time. My reply to them is “Baa Baa Boring Baa”.
On the high-five end of it, a lot of people — via discussion — realized that the gaming systems are solid foundations with wide-open areas to be embraced, enhanced, altered, exploited, and otherwise rubbed-up-against. Be free! Be free! What’s even greater is that while I laid in bed after some of these conversations (um… conversations and bed totally separated by significant time and distance), I conceived some pretty awesome (in my own mind) ideas and concepts.
Unlike some people (and this isn’t really a judgement, but… well, okay IT IS…) I’m not waiting for salvation via next editions or hanging the milestones of dogma around my neck and jumping off the Rules Pier. I see so much potential in the WoD and Fate Systems. They are just like anything else in the world — you embrace them, tweak them, and make them your own. I’m going to be doing some tweaking to my next Chronicle(s) — not to Dark Wysteria — it will play as is, as I think it is a solid Chronicle / Mythos.
One of the concepts I want to experiment with is single-player Chronicles. That’s one Story Teller and one Player. The Story Teller establishes the infrastructure of the Chronicle and let’s the Player shape it and, hopefully, thrive in it. Like any Chronicle, there will be a plot and a goal. Why can’t it be single? Why does it have to be three or more Players? I can’t think of any reason, myself. And a single-player game could be / would be held more frequently, but with shorter one-or-two-hour sessions. It would be one-on-one. That sounds exciting and fun to me. But then I haven’t taken my medicine today yet.
The main reason for this post is that I want to get my Klout score up. Okay, okay, I jest. I don’t actually care about my Klout score. I want to pick some of your brains for some of the other game-changing concepts I’ve mulled around with some people. I want them (the concepts) to expand, harass, and in some cases right-out agitate the core rules without breaking anything. I could take months pouring through all the rule books checking facts and verifying points or existing constraints, but it would be so much easier to pop some of you a Facebook message asking short questions. I wouldn’t even mind getting together at ICH or Islands for a discussion session over lunch or stuff. So if you locals (and you know who you are) want to text me or message me on Facebook so that I can pick your brains on some WoD / Fate role-playing concepts and let me know that would be awesome.