Sunday, April 26, 2015

No-longer Secret Project -- and Why It Has Been Slow

You may have been wondering why posts on Strange Encounters have been slowing down.  Some has been a rush at work - to be honest.  The largest cause, though, has been a project that has been under wraps until this week.  I can now explain an exciting new direction for my efforts related to the Cypher System.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lethality and the RPG as a Relativistic Game

The Game Masters’ Roundtable of Doom is a meeting of the minds of tabletop RPG bloggers and GMs. We endeavor to transcend a particular system or game and discuss topics that are relevant to GMs and players of all roleplaying games.

If you’d like to submit a topic for our future discussions, or if you’re a blogger who’d like to participate in the Game Master’s Roundtable of Doom, send an email to Lex Starwalker.

 This month's topic comes to us courtesy of Lex Starwalker, who poses the following question:

There is a wide spectrum of lethality in RPGs, and there are GMs who fall on every possible point within it. These range from GMs who run campaigns where PCs can never die to the other extreme—GMs who delight in killing PCs. Where do you fall on this spectrum? How lethal are your games and why? How do you handle PC death if and when it happens?

[The above text is directly from Lex Starwalker's blog - linked at the end of this post]

My feelings on lethality in RPGs have evolved along much the same lines as my general approach to being a GM (reviewed in last month's post).  Through high school, my gaming (mostly DnD -- some other systems like Marvel Super Heroes, TMNT, Rifts, etc.) took the game as a challenge.  The experience was largely one that pitted the players against the DM and the game itself.  I guess we all wanted to brag about surviving the Lost Tower on Inverness or escaping the shackles of the slavers from the classic A series.  We could brag about surviving the Tomb of Horrors but no one would believe us.