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Jamil Vallis-Walker
Indie gamer, Norcal Native
Indie gamer, Norcal Native

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I don't normally share non-gaming stuff here, but this is a link to a fundraiser trying to help an old woman keep her life-long home from being foreclosed on. If you feel so inclined, chipping in or sharing this post would mean the world.

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Has anyone played / would be willing to run a game of Circle of Hands?

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So I was a little delirious when I wrote this, but the issue is still rolling around in my head. What are the pluses and minuses of open-world vs. Set-ending tabletop RPGs, and why might one be a better choice than another in the game your designing?
Even MOAR gaming reflections:
(My brain is on overdrive right now!)

Open world, open ended, D&D style games vs. Goal oriented, structurally-engrained-conclusions. Ready? FIGHT!

Me thinks that the more Open-ended games have the advantage of letting the players create their own meaning, their own arcs, and their own adventures, while set-conclusion games hone in on and can really evoke a specific meaning/arc/adventure.

But oh no!
Open-ended = scary, because the GM's "coming up with stuff" emphasis is stressful
Set-conclusion = potentially sad because the game might end before you want it too

What is there to do!?!

...Go to sleep Jamil, your too tired for intellectual pontification.

So, something I've noticed after a half dozen or so games:

The "what's the score/what's the plan" design of a session is really helpful for GMs like me who struggle with "coming up with something interesting" for the players to engage with. It let's thing jump to the action in a fun way that makes episodic play very accessible.

That said, I've also noticed that inter-character and NPC-PC drama tend to fall by by the wayside. While the AW "ensemble cast, shared space, shared hardships" design specifically targets this type of play, the "what's the score" model has, in my experiences, pushed this mostly off the table. Out of all the sessions I've run, precisely zero have ended with someone checking off the "express your character'a flaws, obsessions, etc." advancement option. Obviously, this isn't bad, it's just seems to be geared towards a different style of game.

So, that's what I've seen in my games this far. I'm curious to hear if this experience has resonated with others, or if said character drama has grown out of the "what's the score" design in your games.

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May Go Play!
Hey all,

Another Month, another Go Play SF Bay! Come down to Oakland's Endgame and get your RPGing on! Feel free to post anything you'd be interested in playing here, or just show up and bring whatever you'd like to play.

See you there!

When you claim to know something about the situation at hand, say what you know and roll plus weird. On a 10 plus, you're exactly right. On a 7-9, you've got it mostly right, but your missing a key detail. On a miss, as sure as you are, the maelstrom/world seems to think (and be) otherwise.
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