Over on Story Games there was a thread recently about whether you could become "Story Game Brain Damaged" - get so used to the style of play originating in the Forge that you forget all the basics you grew up with.
Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, it's something I can certainly identify with. I recently dropped out of a game recently partially because my expectations about game content and action levels were out of sync with the group as a whole. A disappointing experience that in part comes from my recent emphasis and experience running short games which necessarily pack a lot of punch into not much time.
Perturbed by this, I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about the Long term games I've been involved in, both as a player and a GM. Trying to figure out what was good about them, what they did that a shorter game couldn't do. Games like 8w_gremlin
's short-term Call of Cthulhu
and my own Grim Harvest
games muddied the water for me by bringing a lot of old school elements, especially related to pacing & the absence of scene framing, to a short term game.
So I decided that I would consult two friends of mine who both have a lot of experience with Long Term games and whose opinions I have always found deeply interesting, if not always entirely my thing. They are Steve Rennel, and Ivan Towlson.
I've never actually gamed with Steve, but he's been an important interlocutor for gaming discussion for a couple of years now; I've spent more time talking to grandexperiment
, but Steve may well be second.
Ivan has been one of my semi-regular gaming buddies for about 4 years now. He's a stalwart in my convention playtesting cycle, ran the Lace and Steel
game that I've posted about many times, and played in Dale Elvy's 2 year Paths of the Damned
campaign with mr_orgue
We've been engaging in a lengthy series of e-mail discussions, trying to tease out what they see as the strengths of Long term games and how they've approached getting the best from them. This discussion is very much ongoing, but I've compiled the first bit of it and present it here for your comment.( Collapse )