I just got the email verifying tomorrow’s recording session and I am very excited about it. The excitement is only somewhat marred by the state of DPnP, which I had hoped to have more accomplished by then. Some of the things I was hoping to use are still not complete, such as the virtual GM screen, but that’s ok. It won’t hurt the show, or the game at all. The characters in the show have been almost completely converted. I mean almost because there is some little hiccups here and there with the character sheets I have to iron out before then. Still, the show’s a go and you will be able to hear a recorded game session using Fantasy Sagas RPG rules and get a glimpse of how it is played from the creator’s point of view .Avid players may find some things strange when I play, however. Despite my having created the rules, you will likely find I am not overly strict in the implementation of them. So, I thought for those players already familiar with the game you may want to know how/why I am running the game as I am going to.
First things first: the rules in all Sagas books have always been “guidelines”. This has always meant that while they do exists, the rules are simply there for the GM to retain a sense of continuity within the game. The title of the books, “Player’s Guidebook”, says it all. While admittedly it is not very clear about the overall openness behind the design concept, or how it is implemented (a fact I hope to correct in future updates) the entire structure of the game is meant to allow a GM or player to flow through the game. While some players and GMs prefer a more structured pattern, others may not want this at all. I personally fall in the latter category. I enjoy well thought out designs, but don’t want to be bogged down by them.
Sometimes, though I tried to keep this from happening, some of the rules may seem or play in a very complex way. For instance, combat may seem very clinical in its implementation. However, I am not strict on this while playing. Sure, I am aware of action levels and combat rounds, but they are secondary to how combat flows at the table. I try to remember that this character, who may not have a high strength, is suddenly using a great sword must act slower. However, I am not actively ticking off combat rounds in a play by play basis. I know which characters go first. I know that their actions are faster, or slower, and I adjust the order of play. To be quite frank, I am hardly aware of the actual numbers in play at all.
This is not to say they aren’t important. They are, when it comes down to deciding specific things. Players may want to enforce a specific timeline from time to time because of things they are doing. I adjust to those needs. However, my games, and they way we run them, are very fluid. We enjoy the drama of events and how they play out more than we enjoy the actual mechanics behind them. The mechanics serve as a huge framework from which we achieve an exciting role playing experience, but they are not shackles by which we are bound. The enjoyment of the game, more than anything, is the heart of the system.
That is the most important rule of the game: enjoyment. E-RPG was designed to work by using any rule you want, and ignoring those you don’t. That means it works on this level even while you play. For one combat encounter you may be fast and loose, but on a more important encounter you may use the rules very strictly. You will see this very often in the game I am running for the nerdy show.
Furthermore, at the end of the day, the Dungeons and Doritos episodes are not about E-RPG. It is about a group of guys role-playing in a fun atmosphere. Its a show about role-playing, while role-playing, and not about the rules of the particular game. Therefore, in the essence of enjoying the game, and putting on a fun show, there may often be times where the rule-book is flat out ignored. Its not because we don’t like them, its simply because it would not be very much fun for a listener. If I feel a mechanic will bog down the listener’s experience I won’t use it. We aren’t using miniatures for this reason as well. While I guess some people may want to hear a game with people moving their pieces across a grid and rolling dice, I think it would be more enjoyable to listen to the drama of encounters, not how the players are mechanically resolving them. So, I’m sorry, but we aren’t advertising the E-RPG experience in the show, and we are not bogging the show down with any facet of the game itself. We are there to play, have fun, and we are just using E-RPG to do it.
All that being said, if you are hoping for some insight into what E-RPG is like without playing it yourself I do feel like this show will give a very fair assessment of what playing E-RPG is like, especially for me. There is a reason why I built the system and why, despite the hundreds of great gaming systems out there, I only play this one system for every game type I run. The system is fun, open to interpretations and gaming styles, and can handle just about any game style and player out there. Furthermore, it is just plain old FUN. Its fun to run, its fun to play, and I hope, it is fun to listen to it being run and played.
Until next time,