Thursday, April 16, 2015

Actual Play: IKRPG Campaign Episode 8

Well, session 8 is a thing that happened, and beyond the plot progression, which was minor, I have a few talking points. Let's just say that events occurred this game, events that were scripted in a less than stellar fashion, and the end result was a slapdash mishmash of roleplaying, roadblocks, and gaming woes.

The first new development here is the introduction of a new player character, who wanted to give the IKRPG a test run. It's always a difficulty introducing someone fresh into a game that's been running for awhile; it's much like a person unfamiliar with a television show just jumping into the newest season with not even a basic knowledge of who/what/when/where/how/why. They're just sort of left wondering what's going on with little to do. Aside from that, there's also the difficulty with introducing a tenuous player, because if they decide not to return to the gaming table (as this one did), you need to find a way to A) get them into the party with as little hassle as possible and B) keep their inclusion as minor as possible, so that if they decide not to return there isn't a massive amount of plot threads just left dangling. It's a fine line, and difficult to walk, and kind of just feels undercooked when it's done wrong, which is pretty much the only way to do it.

Aside from the new player, we also had an experiment with allowing a player to generate plot points due to their weekly interlude. I won't discuss the minutia of this player-input, or my personal reactions to it; all I'm really willing to say is that if you're planning on telling a player they can create some sort of event that will happen in the next gaming session, make sure you know that player and you know how to turn that event into something actually meaningful. I'm of two minds towards how I reacted to this development, despite using it to perform a call-back to another player's interaction with the setting in an earlier game, and I still have a bit to think about regarding exactly how I'm going to move forward from here with it.

Lastly, I'd like to talk about breadcrumbs and plot trails. Usually, I find myself throwing very few clues towards where I want my plots to go, because my players tend to cleverly bungle their ways into my main plot lines in ways that create more and more; however, in this situation I tried to be more sly about my plot crumbs and ended up dead-ending the players' investigations. They have a conspiracy, but no actual way in which to pursue it, and we left our session with them starting across a table at a plot-forwarding NPC with no way of actually getting him to move the plot forward.

This is what comes from games with slipshod preparation. Sigh.

IKRPG Session 8: Old Friends


  1. Conspiracies are always difficult to handle in rpgs. On one hand you want the players to unravel the conspiracy otherwise they feel powerless, but on the other for the conspiracy to be able to operate it needs to be somewhat untouchable.

    It's a difficult balance to achieve. I'm told that Night's Black Agents is full of good advice for running conspiracy-based games but I've not read it because a friend is keen to run it one day.

    1. Regardless, NBL coined the term ConsPyramid, so that's something.