Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Choices

My gaming sessions have gone on a temporary hiatus due to player absence, a reprieve I'm actually somewhat grateful for. Two of my players have run across terrible work schedules, another is in the Army Reserve and is being called on for some yearly training.

All in all, this gives me time to plan, plan, plan. The players, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, chose the action/adventure route for the next chapter of the campaign. Wookiepedia is quickly growing to be my number one resource for campaign planning. I dug around for planets on the Outer Rim that aren't as directly tied into canon, giving me a bit more leeway as to what can be where.

I like to give my players choice in how things play out, rather than just the illusion choice. They found intel leading them to various nefarious deeds. I'm working on three paths for them: a slave market, a slaving outfit that is actively recruiting and a Czerka facility that is purchasing labor for mines. Which will they choose? How will they approach the situation? I never know until the moment of decision.

I've been playing through Alpha Protocol recently, and I find myself quite impressed with it despite the negative reviews. As an espionage rpg, it is unique. It evokes the original Deus Ex and Mass Effect more than D&D or Elder Scrolls. The combat and stat management is interesting enough to keep you attached. The part that really speaks to me as a GM though is the complex layers weaved through the game. How you approach each NPC, the dialogue choices given and the actions you take in the game all effect your reputation and how others treat you. If you are trigger happy and have a complete disregard for human life, it will effect how others treat you. Same as if you are stealthy and rely on non-lethal tactics. All of these things tie into an interesting and well-crafted story. These are all elements we try and slip into our games, directly or indirectly.

And as a final note, this marks my inaugural post as part of the RPG Bloggers network. Hurrah for the blog!

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