Saturday, February 15, 2014

Organizational Resources I Had Forgotten

Stumbling around dusty parts of the blogosphere this evening, I happened upon two posts that I am fairly certain I read once upon a distant year.

The first and more important, I think, is Ars Ludi's plot grid, whereby a game with an irregular player base might have a plot rather than going full-episodic.  Also comes with the neat feature that less-frequent players are more likely to have the sessions that they attend center on their subplots.  This is a thing I would have been well-served by in either of both ACKS games, and in retrospect bears a lot of similarity to how I managed my notes for Traveller back when.  Also interesting that even with a player pool of 30, he was pulling 3.4 players per session on average.

The second is Justin Alexander's post on the open game table, which I realize now was almost certainly an influence on my gaming development over the last few years.  The pair of interesting take-away points from this most recent reading, however, were that the pick-up style is not the end-all-be-all of the RPG form, and that when he does scheduling, it's in one-month chunks, as opposed to the one-week chunks we were using for ACKS.  I think that's an important administrative insight, as one of the things which was tricky with Scaled Continent was planning for a particular group mix with just a few days of lead-time.  There was no way I was going to be able to tailor anything to anybody due to lack of data on my part plus short timescales.

With per-player plotting and month-lead scheduling in mind, my willingness to run a campaign for irregulars over the 'net is somewhat increased again.  Still need to fix technical issues with voice/vid for it to be really workable, though.  Somewhat concerned that I may have blown my credibility in that arena, but hey, the first couple runs of any new setup rarely go smoothly.

2 comments:

Jim said...

No, I don't think you blew your credibility. It's a function of using the software & getting to know it in advance. It's not software and/or components you use regularly (if ever), so there's bound to be difficulties. Next time, do non-session test runs with friends and/or family to ensure it all works right under all likely configurations.

And I'm glad to see you might reconsider running another campaign online. I'm looking forward to hearing more. Traveler?

John said...

Perhaps Traveller, perhaps ACKS. Crusader Kings and related readings on medieval history have given me some new material to work with. I'm also still curious about running a grand strategy game like Victory by Any Means, or something with the campaign system from Full Thrust, but those sort of things are a bit outside the standard realm of interest of my playerbase.