Saturday, 15 February 2014

Roleplaying Insight and the Maiden

I have had a blast over the last few days reading through the Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (D&D 4E) core books (Player and DM's Guides). Not just because I bought them so long ago but never actually played, but they are full of fascinating insights into the hobby and the people who play.

The fascination comes thick and fast in the Dungeon Masters Guide as there are whole sections that explore player motivations, play styles, campaign types, dealing with problems and complexities like Metagame Thinking. These are all interesting beyond the scope of a D&D game as many of the ideas would apply to game design of other types...

How might different players engage with the current build of my Maiden of the Loch game. I am certainly trying to craft a game with fun some social interaction (that is the primary goal of a tabletop game) along with a narrative flow to how the game unfolds. I am certainly trying to inject as much light roleplaying into the game where I can - at least trying to get players to relate to their monsters struggle to charm the fickle Maiden and win her heart. Giving the characters in the this tale differences is one thing, but giving scope to allow different player styles sounds wonderful - not so sure about doable yet. I will post my current game rules (maybe tomorrow) as there is certainly a game in there once I craft the cards.

Back to D&D, I thought I might just summarise a few of the awesome sections as they are quite revealing of different players, accommodating them and getting a common understanding of the game being played.

Player Motivations:

Likes to pretend to be their character, fleshing them out and bringing them to life.
Loves new places, discovery and meeting the residents, denizens and wonders of the world
Enjoys making things happen with little patience for planning but loves diving into the action.
Power Gamer
Likes levelling and the thrill of gaining new powers and items as they progress.
Emphasises the slaying of monsters and feeling of power and most enjoys the combat
Prefers the narrative of the game over other aspects including rules and individuals.
Seeks to solve puzzles and make careful choices through planning and clever tactics.
Casual player there for the social aspects and being part of the event more than the game immersion.

DM/Game Style Considerations:

Gritty ...or... Cinematic
Medieval Fantasy ...or... Anachronistic
Silly ...or... Serious
Lighthearted ...or... Intense
Bold ...or... Cautious
Preplanned ...or... Improvised
General ...or... Thematic
Morally Ambiguous ...or... Heroic

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