Saturday, September 19, 2015

External Resources

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about player aids. I've recently been able to start a Changeling game for a couple of friends, and I reworked an idea I'd used in the past. I think that will make an interesting topic for this week's entry.

Those of you who are experienced gamers may be familiar with a concept called "bluebooking." If this is a new idea to you, let me explain: some gaming groups began using blue books (small booklets of blank ruled paper, normally used in american universities for essay exams) to continue action of a game outside of a normal gaming session. If there were scenes that players wanted to play out in private, away from others in their gaming group, those scenes could be written out in blue books, which were cheap and easily available. GMs would then review those scenes and respond to them, if necessary, and could incorporate events of such private scenes into their game setting without other players being immediately aware of what was going on. Other types of scenes that could be acted out through bluebooking included scenes that occurred in a long lull in main action (i.e., if a couple of years of in-game time passed between gaming sessions, players could describe what their character was doing during that time), or if there was a scene that a player didn't feel comfortable roleplaying in front of other gamers, and so on.

This is just one example of an External Resource. External Resources are tools used outside of a normal gaming session to enhance stories being told.

Several years ago, I created a Yahoo! group for my gaming group. We could discuss our game in a forum, upload and share files that were of use to us, and so on.

My new Changeling group is brand new to this hobby. They're experienced video gamers, but I discovered that they'd never even played Dungeons and Dragons. I hosted an introductory one-shot Changeling session for some players in my game club, and I invited two of these friends to join. They had such a good time, that they not only began asking me to continue running a game for them, they told two of their other friends, who also became interested in trying it out.

As such, I'm working very hard to make sure that they're able to enjoy themselves as much as possible. One thing that I know can be overwhelming for new players is understanding and remembering so much new information ("What does Chicanery Art do again?" "Oh yeah, I forgot I had that ability!" "What do you mean, 'telepathy doesn't work on a computer?'") So I wanted to create a site where they could find this information easily.

This time around, since all players already had Google accounts, I chose to use Google Sites and Google Groups for this resource. I created a main page, which linked to a 'useful files' page, a 'character notes' page, and a forum. 'Useful Files' includes several maps, chargen pdfs, and similar files available for viewing or downloading. 'Character Notes' has a complete description of each level of Arts that each character possesses, as well as their Legacies, Merits, and Flaws, and if they have a chimerical companion, that companion's Redes and Banes as well. This allows them to easily re-read and remember what they can do. 'Forum' allows players to discuss previous game sessions (including summaries of in-game events from previous sessions), as well as talking about what they like or don't like about our game thus far, offer suggestions, etc.

This is just one example of External Resources. I'm sure that many other people have come up with even more ideas. If you have any suggestions for External Resources, please share it with me in my comment section below!

That's all for this week. I will see you again here in a week's time. Until then,

Game on!

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