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Tag - Strategic gamemastering

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lundi 9 avril 2018

Strategic gamemastering, part 5 : Converting THACO links into scenes

Having performed the prescribed steps of the strategic gamemastering methodology, the strategist GM now has obtained the requisite THACO.

Accordingly, this THACO provides the GM with :

  • an overview of all objects (Themes, Locations, NPCs & Items) which are common to your players' respective creative agendas ;
  • a list of all the links that the GM has created in order to increase the number and interdependencies of objects across the player-characters.

A question remains : how to switch from a strategic level of gamemastering to a tactical level ? Which concepts should be converted into scenes ? How to create these scenes ?

This post aims at answering these questions.

Lire la suite...

jeudi 14 décembre 2017

Strategic Gamemastering, part 4: Matrix campaigns

You've read all three installments of the Strategic Gamemastering posts, and you're telling yourself that while the method certainly could work for one-shot scenarios with strongly divergent characters, you are still in doubt that the THACO tool could manage the several pre-written adventures, modules or 50-scenario campaign that you have bought for your favorite game.

Your main issue is that if, in accordance to the process described in Part 3 of Strategic Gamemastering, you decompose a single scenario into its base components and enter them into the THACO for subsequent exploitation, the player-characters will enter the scenario in a manner certainly consistent with their own objectives or background, but probably not in the manner envisioned by the scenario author but by each following their own creative agendas.

Since player-characters will be entering the narrative threads of the scenario in an uncontrollable and unpredictable manner, there is also a definite possibility that the scenario will unfold in a manner wildly different from the author-driven narrative direction. This, of course, implies a massive uncertainty as to whether the ending of the scenario will match the beginning of the next campaign scenario as envisioned by the campaign designers !

These reservations are quite legitimate. However, the Strategic Gamemastering method also provides for long-winded campaigns and even follow-up campaigns. This post will show you how.

Lire la suite...

mardi 10 octobre 2017

[Octogones 2017] Supports de conférence

Suite à la convention Octogones 2017 qui s'est tenue les 7 et 8 octobre 2017 au Double Mixte à Villeurbanne, voici les supports de chacun des ateliers spécialisés "Mener des parties de jeu de rôle" qui y ont été présentés.

Support de la conférence interactive "Maîtrise Stratégique" - Octogones 2017 (pdf en français)

Support de l'atelier "Devenir Meneur de Jeu" - Octogones 2017 (pdf en français)

Toutes questions et remarques sont bien évidemment les bienvenues en commentaires ou par courrier électronique.

jeudi 6 juillet 2017

[Stratégie de maîtrise] Strategic Gamemastering traduit sur PTGPTB !

L'équipe de Places To Go, People To Be a eu la bonté (et le courage) de traduire en français intelligible mon premier billet de la série "Strategic Gamemastering". Qu'ils en soient loués et remerciés !

Voici le lien vers la traduction du billet :

"La maîtrise de jeu stratégique"

Les billets suivants de la série "Strategic Gamemastering" sont accessibles via les liens ci-dessous :

mercredi 2 septembre 2015

Strategic Gamemastering, part 3: Flags, THACO, and plot hook writing practices

Readers have brought my attention to several articles on flag framing. Basically, "flags"are all data objects on the character sheet.

If you haven't done so yet, I urge you to go read these insightful articles by experienced gamemasters.

This article aims at clarifying the relationship between flags and systematic strategic exploitation through the THACO, and the manner in wich the strategic gamemastering method can be used to design plot hooks for preexisting scenarios.

Lire la suite...

lundi 31 août 2015

Strategic Gamemastering, part 2: Data organization and exploitation through the THACO

This is the second installment of our series of articles on optimizing gamemaster effort through systematic gamemastering strategies. In the first article of this series, we have seen together how a clever gamemaster could infer player expectations for a given game by thoroughly mining all available data sources.

This post is focused on the practical organization and exploitation of all data gathered following a practical methodology, which, in homage to Gary Gygax, our godfather of tabletop RPG gaming, I have named the "THACO".

Lire la suite...

mercredi 25 juin 2014

Strategic Gamemastering, Part 1: RPG theory, Premises and Data gathering

GNS and Big Model theories have limits. They describe the players, the relationships between player stances, and the social contract between the players. They help expose the incoherences and/or game design flaws of role-playing games. They help understand the psychological mechanics & dynamics of a RPG gaming table. They help understand that differing expectations will end up with incoherence, zilch play, or even agenda clash. In that, they are useful awareness-raising tools for the GM and the players alike.

However, they also show their limits in that they are theoretical tools, from which GM & player best practices have to be deducted, and depend on the effort of the GM, on his understanding, and on the willingness and/or ability of each player to understand her own creative agenda, her own needs and expectations, know her own stance and the nature of the game, and fulfill her part of the gaming table "social contract".

But what of the time-deprived gamemaster? What of the player who is unwilling or unable to clearly state or even understand his own expectations?

Moreover, what of the case of an impromptu gaming table, or a gaming convention demo? How can a GM apply his understanding of the Big Model or the GNS model to the gaming session at hand without engaging in interviews on the preferred creative agendas and expectations of the players?

I believe that these limits can be broken through by any GM, by adopting a common, game-independant, player-independant, creative-agenda-independant methodical gamemastering approach.

Lire la suite...