6 June 2010

Tales from the Teya'o Iva, plus Dreams from the Fresh Kills, Pt 4

Update: Fourth session of Dreams from the Fresh Kills online, plus the beginnings of my latest campaign.

We finally got my latest RPG campaign underway. About bloody time too, we've only been planning it since February at least (I wrote about the design process in an earlier post).

The game is titled Tales from the Teya'o Iva, and is set in my fantasy world Va'ita. The player characters are crew members aboard the pirate zeppelin Teya'o Iva, who'll undoubtedly be drawn into many interesting and unforeseen adventures.

For many of my recent games I've been writing fairly detailed prose descriptions of the events. Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it. It feels like a chore, not part of the fun of the gaming experience. The descriptions do have a function, as a reminder of past events (which is why I originally started writing them), but in most cases the essential information could be summarised in just a few lines.

This time there is even more reason for not starting to write lengthy stories. The group is somewhat larger than the other group I've mostly run games for, and the gaming sessions have a habit of being longer as well. That means there's a lot more going on, the story branching in many directions. I'd go crazy trying to sum it up in prose form. I'll still keep a record of main events on my website, for my own and the players' benefit, but it'll only be a very brief summary this time. In addition, we're using Google Wave to discuss events in a more social manner.

While many of my recent games have been modelled on TV shows, this time I've been trying to think more in video game terms, referring to individual story segments as 'quests', which don't have to progress in a certain order or be limited to a particular gaming session, and can be interrelated (as obviously there'll be storylines that keep popping up) or more independent adventures. This is largely because, the group being fairly large, it might often be difficult to find a date suitable for every player. If I've got a bunch of ready 'quests' to draw upon, it should be easier to build a session suitable for the particular group at hand, leaving the main storylines for occasions when most of us are together.

In addition to my new game's first session, I also ran a session of my other current campaign, Dreams from the Fresh Kills, this week, and for this game I'm still writing story descriptions. Some interesting plot twists there, the game is drawing towards a grand finale (and even I don't know what will happen in the next session). Designing two game sessions inside one week (plus just playing in one) was a pretty tiring experience, I may say. But perhaps I can rest for a couple of days now, before the next session's upon me...

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