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Potential KapCon GM Workshop
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to Idiot's point, there's also the option of picking games that don't require it. There is no shortage of games that can be run at a moment's notice.

One of the main reasons I started up the games on demand room was as an excuse to not have to prepare/playtest anything beforehand.
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Dan



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liam
Quote:
I don't mind volunteering to build some support stuctures around GMs for the next Kapcon. I'll set up some sort of sign in register for those that are interested at the Kapcon admin desk and go from there if everyone is happy with that?


Score!... a volunteer! (I also don't mind doing the same, but likely to be in another country next december... again)

Liam, are you around tomorrow night at the pre-con drinks?

I think we would be better pitching a sign up with
"Make your game better?, get published?, beat those nerves?, Run a game at the next Kapcon? - Sign up here for exciting new developments in GM support for Kapcon..."

Or something...
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Dan



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idiot
Quote:
You don't have to playtest.


Err... no you don't have too... but it is advisable. And definitely there are games that don't need a playtest, and GMs who don't either (different GM styles and all that)... But I wouldn't want to hide from the fact that it would be advisable to playtest the game (or play the game beforehand if you can't actually playtest that particular scenaro) before bringing it to Kapcon.

My concerns about a focus on GM skills / development workshop would be that it doesn't help anyones nerves if Kapcon is elevated as this quality 'con.. so much so that it needs GM development program... it might make it even more scary for some...
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re-focusing slightly...

In terms of a workshop, i.e. a group of people getting together in a physical space for discussion/advice, there are some different things that can be the focus:

- Convincing "existing GMs" to GM at KapCon i.e. effectively a sales meeting. You might think this was a pre-workshop thing, but I think there is a need to convince people that they should even step up and offer their services.

- Helping people develop a scenario to run. Either writing a scenario or picking a pre-published scenario (whether that be "indie" or "trad")

- Advising people on the nuances of the 3 hour structure

These might be fairly different groups.

I think Liam's idea of somehow trying to get some kind of handle on it by actually surveying general KapCon attendees is a great idea, and I think even at this late stage we should do that to the maximum extent possible.

A questionnaire or something that you're given when you register would probably be ideal.

1. We all plan in different ways, and at different times. But what time during your planning process would you most benefit from advice or direction - to simplify the answers
a) Before you have started thinking about what to run

2. What do you think are the barriers for "new" GMs to run games at Kapcon?

I suspect the reasons will vary individually.

3. What do you think are the benefits for a new GM to run a game at Kapcon?

Certainly a stronger sense of community and "belonging".

4. What skills do you think a GM needs to have, independent of system knowledge to run a game at Kapcon?

Confidence.

8. Would you be prepared to share your expertise to newer GMs?

Yes.

9. Would it be preferable, as a "Grizzled Vet" for the new GMs to come prepared with an idea of what they want to run, and a basic outline of how it should look? or are you okay to go with a clean canvas?

Bring something. Anything. Smile
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Liam



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Liam, are you around tomorrow night at the pre-con drinks?


I plan to be though my Cathulhu game needs a little more work and it first up in round one (yikes).

For any of my players reading this, dont panic, the game is all in hand, nothing to read here, move on!
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Luke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
Having re-read my post, I'm worried that the emphasis on playtesting is a barrier - it makes it seem like work, and increase the amount of lead-time to get your game sorted.


If GMing a session with friends is a barrier, I don't see how removing it will assist people in running at Kapcon. From my experiences, I think this also applies to non-prep games like those raised by Mike (probably doubly so).
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
If GMing a session with friends is a barrier, I don't see how removing it will assist people in running at Kapcon. From my experiences, I think this also applies to non-prep games like those raised by Mike (probably doubly so).


Oh sure, I wasn't suggesting that a no-prep game was a cure-all, just that it gives you one less thing to get organised (i.e. a prepared scenario).
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Luke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
Oh sure, I wasn't suggesting that a no-prep game was a cure-all, just that it gives you one less thing to get organised (i.e. a prepared scenario).


Definitely.
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
Oh sure, I wasn't suggesting that a no-prep game was a cure-all, just that it gives you one less thing to get organised (i.e. a prepared scenario).


I've been musing on that topic since I'm venturing into this territory this year.

At this stage I'd say that offering for GoD generally has been more work than my main scenario. But if I were just offering one game instead of a few then the balance would be the other way.

However, all games are not alike in that way. I think that to facilitate something tricky like Dirty Secrets probably takes an amount of effort close to writing/running a pre-written game - I feel a bit inadequately prepared if that game is demanded.

Compared to, say 44 - A Game of Automatic Fear or A Wilderness of Mirrors where, even though they have a traditional GM role, the game as written more-or-less runs itself without undue GM intervention.

I think that for about half the games I'm offering in GoD, the trade-off for not having to prep is possibly even more on-the-spot stress in terms of getting a satisfactory game. (e.g. I am confident nobody will leave The Salt Bond disappointed. I would not be willing to make the same claim for Dirty Secrets, which I can easily imagine being interesting but ultimately unsatisfying)

But there are a range of "indie" games which should work acceptably with no prep and without much real chance of any stress (oh, Zombie Cinema, how I love thee so! Thou art the perfect pick-up game)

I also sometimes wonder whether pre-written games might in some ways be harder than writing games. I've run a few old T$R modules in the last couple of years which were fairly diabolical in terms of structure, pacing and just simple comprehensibility for the poor old players. Most of the pre-written scenarios I have for TORG and Shadowrun (admittedly, 1st and 2nd ed) seem equally hard or even worse for convention play.

A few scenarios go the other way, and look good, until you get to grips with the details and find you're basically writing most of them on the fly anyway, which is less of a problem if you know the scenario back to front as you would if you wrote it.

The good news is the SDC. Most of the games on there seem substantially more useable than a lot of products you can buy.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
I've been musing on that topic since I'm venturing into this territory this year.

At this stage I'd say that offering for GoD generally has been more work than my main scenario. But if I were just offering one game instead of a few then the balance would be the other way.


As a matter of interest, do you think it is more work or more pressure? The main bar I find to running that style of game is that I feel more pressure on the day compared to a prepared scenario.
EDIT: Whoops pays for me to read your entire thread first Very Happy

I think from a workload POV the number of games and familiarity are both factors. Running 1 GoD RPG that you are familiar with would be less work. Running multiple GoD RPGs that you were not familiar with would be a lot of work.

As a matter of interest, how many RPGs do most GoD GMs offer?
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
MikeSands wrote:
Oh sure, I wasn't suggesting that a no-prep game was a cure-all, just that it gives you one less thing to get organised (i.e. a prepared scenario).


I've been musing on that topic since I'm venturing into this territory this year.

At this stage I'd say that offering for GoD generally has been more work than my main scenario. But if I were just offering one game instead of a few then the balance would be the other way.


It depends on the game! Certainly after three years of games on demand, I'm being a lot more careful about what I'm bringing this time. Lots of mine are games that I have run a lot, and are consistently fun. Not so many "the newest most awesome thing I have to try" this time around Smile

But that's a whole other topic, really! If you want to go into it, let's start another thread (or just chat at Kapcon).
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
As a matter of interest, how many RPGs do most GoD GMs offer?


Historically, between 1 and ~12. We've been making this up as we go along, there's no rules yet.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mashugenah wrote:
I also sometimes wonder whether pre-written games might in some ways be harder than writing games. I've run a few old T$R modules in the last couple of years which were fairly diabolical in terms of structure, pacing and just simple comprehensibility for the poor old players. Most of the pre-written scenarios I have for TORG and Shadowrun (admittedly, 1st and 2nd ed) seem equally hard or even worse for convention play.

A few scenarios go the other way, and look good, until you get to grips with the details and find you're basically writing most of them on the fly anyway, which is less of a problem if you know the scenario back to front as you would if you wrote it.

The good news is the SDC. Most of the games on there seem substantially more useable than a lot of products you can buy.


It is true that finding good prewritten scenarios for Cons is not an easy task, unless you know the SDC website Very Happy. A good one will make your life a lot easier. However, I would generally prefer to write my own than use a bad one.

I will also say that a scenario written from the ground up will generally be better than a prewritten one.

On saying that, I do think that prewritten scenarios do make things a little easier to some extent.

I also find that they shift the "effort" involved that's more suitable for me. I find that I have more energy for playing with existing ideas than pure creation.
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IdiotSavant



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
IdiotSavant wrote:
Having re-read my post, I'm worried that the emphasis on playtesting is a barrier - it makes it seem like work, and increase the amount of lead-time to get your game sorted.


If GMing a session with friends is a barrier, I don't see how removing it will assist people in running at Kapcon. From my experiences, I think this also applies to non-prep games like those raised by Mike (probably doubly so).


It not the nerves, its the time. And while I definitely want to encourage playtesting (as it makes for better games), presenting it as a requirement is a definite barrier.

I'd rather people took the risk of running something unplaytested than not run something at all.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdiotSavant wrote:
I'd rather people took the risk of running something unplaytested than not run something at all.


I totally agree. I am just not convinced that a 3 hour playtest is much of a barrier.
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