Open Game Table
I want to run an open table. Justin Alexander does a phenomenal job explaining the concept here: http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/1223/roleplaying-games/opening-your-game-table. I really like the metaphor of catch. I think I know maybe two people who would be willing to commit to softball, but a tremendous amount of the people I know would be up for catch. I’ll probably run a forum/wiki like New York Red Box for organization and player notes.
“Old School” Feel
I realize that old school means a hundred things to fifty people, but what I mean specifically is:
- High Granularity. Tracking of ammunition, supplies, distance traveled, light sources, and mapping. On a scale of one to ten, where one is tracking nothing, and ten is tracking boot condition and quality, probably around seven.
- High Lethality. Characters should be able to die. If the players bumble around and attract a pile of ghost cultists at level one, they’ll be welcomed to possession town. If the players want to mount a rescue op, they are free to do so, however.
- Resource Tracking. In combination with the above two, resources should be limited, so as to have meaning. I’m playing in a 5e game where my character has six healing potions on him. I bought those all at once. Consuming a resource should be a calculated decision. Risk vs. Reward is good.
- Players Have a Stable of Multiple Characters. Reading about old groups, you see that people had multiple characters that saw play. I like this. It might just be because I have character ADD, but being able to play a Wizard one week and a Fighter the next, is very attractive to me. I’d like for my players to actually use multiple characters as well.
Open tables typically have the urban centers as the safe zone. The safe zone is a place where action doesn’t happen. There might be rumors generated, and supplies bought, but adventure happens outside of it. This is so that when players aren’t there, their characters don’t die in the inevitable fire that gets set. I’d like my players to be able to have interactions with characters that traveled in the same location, and to create long term connections. Also, by making all the creatures on the “first floor” of my megadungeon sentient creatures with civilized actions behind them, I can maybe help my players get beyond the “kill everything and take their stuff” mentality.
This is probably the strangest part of what I’m trying to do. At least, I haven’t seen anything about it. What I mean by this is that while I’ll set up some specials, and create tables for things, mapping and setting creation for the city happens because of player action. I’ll build some creation tables and have maps available for editing, but won’t do any actual creation until the players head somewhere. The idea is that players ask about things, because they want them to be interesting. I’ll have to be careful about balancing this with “No.” Think about the last time that you traveled to a metropolis; there were hundreds of places you could go, but you only went to the ones that you thought were interesting.
As part of above, I want player actions to matter. Lose an eye? It’s gone. Burn down a building? It’s toast. Plant some mushrooms? They’re there.
Unrelated, I’m sorry this has been so slow updating, I’ve got a bunch of things ideated, but kept running into not having explained stuff, so needed to write a precursor, and that happen about half a dozen times. Pressing on!