Friday Five: 2011-04-15

Happy Tax Day in the United States! I hope you’re already done with your annual government-required paperwork. If not, what are you doing here? Go fill out that 1040 already!

That’s a lot of hats

This post over at ars ludi really spoke to me as a game designer. I’ve run my own homebrew system through a relatively short campaign and learned so much from it. However, I found that the quality of the game really lacked because I was trying to be GM, facilitator, designer, playtester (as GM, not player), organizer, world builder and referee all at once. Man, too many hats to wear at once. I’m not quite sure what the solution to that problem is, but I’m sure there’s one out there.

9 Ways to Enhance Game Immersion

These 9 ways to enhance game immersion will work for some people and not for others. It also depends on what you want to be immersed into. If you want characters, world-building, personal interactions and such like that, then drop the miniatures. If you want tactical combat and immersion into strategies around your powers, then miniatures are the way to go. Each point made here has a counter point. All-in-all, however, I feel that it’s good advice. Like any advice, take the bits that help your gaming and leave the rest for others.

What I Look for in a Gaming Product

Tim has a quick set of three criteria by which he judges RPGs for purchase/play. It’s a pretty good set of criteria. I like it. Maybe you will too if you follow the link.

Weapon Breakage

In my own RPG system, I have rules for HP for armor and weapons. I’ve seriously thought about dropping it in favor of simplicity. Robert’s post about weapon breakage making Dark Sun much harder to game in that, say, Forgotten Realms has some great points to it. I may take his indirect advice and drop item HP for weapons and armor, and just go with some simple hardness/HP system in case someone really wants to target an item for destruction. Those rules are already in the system, so it’s not too much effort. Thanks, Robert!

Pain of Campaigning: Rotating GMs

I’ve never been in a game where GMs rotate, but I have been in a game where the party was large enough (15 players playing 21 characters) where we recruited a more experienced player to retire his character in order to be a co-GM. He spent his time adjudicating rules, assisting with combat and looking up specifications on rules, monsters, items, spells, etc. It worked quite well, and that was pretty much the only way a group that large can be run with any level of success. However, if you find yourself rotating between GMs, check out the post over at Critical Hits to see what is said on the topic.