During the “Playing with the pool” curriculum, we had a discussion about what “setting” is and is not. What it is: the effect of playing in-game situations. What it’s not: the body of lore written by various people outside of play.
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At the Patreon, I began a deeper discussion of my breakdown of "setting" into three more useful terms: backdrop, situation, and scene(s). I presented it first in Circle of Hands and referenced it a lot since then.
A few weeks ago, the Carbon 2185 crew decided they had enough of the Cyber & The Punk for a bit. We will be switching to Forbidden Lands soon, but in the meantime the players wanted to give WFRP 4th edition a look. To save time I grabbed the pre-generated characters and let them choose.
I'm contemplating a game of Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. The core book alone is vast, a whole geography of world and system, and I have never played in Glorantha before.
On Monday, my partner and I played our fourth session of Champions Now. This is our fourth or fifth series of twosies together, games that have included PBTA (not my favorite for one-on-one), narrative OSR Trophy Gold, and (our favorite) Spire: The City Must Fall.
Setting / Backdrop has come up in some recent discussions as well, regarding a game in design and situations. How much is too much or too little? I think that depends on your taste. A game like Symbaroum is heavy setting. Glorantha is heavy setting as well and it changes depending on the system you play it with. Shadowrun is tied to the Sixth World and Earthdawn is tied to the Fourth (I think).
One of my first major video play projects for this site was an extravagant foray into Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, using a focused playset I'd built in face-to-face play a couple of years before that. I called it "Barbaric Psychedelic Cosmic Cataclysmic Fore Ee," and you can see the sheet I made for it attached below.
I've shifted our focus more fully into the concrete experience of designing a game. I'm also finding it useful to consider the practitioner's general outlook of "this is how I did it," vs. the observer's or analyst's outlook of "but how does a person do it," without falling into the trap of tossing it back into the observer's lap by saying, "well, you just do it and then you'll see."
At this point, we needed to do three things at once. First, to make sure we filled in any missing points or caught up with anything Justin wanted to revisit; second, to lay down some important points about design as a process, as I thought we'd maybe strayed into play-theory at the expense of the real topic of "make a game;" and third, to take the time to address any topics as they occurred to either of us as we went along.
Imagine a fantasy world with the classic races A, B and C (Elves, Dwarves and Huma for ex.). Imagine a "realistic" fantasy world, in the sense that once some absurd premises -like magic- are set, the consequences should be logical and based on modern sciences like antropology, history etc,...