Jump to content



Photo

Gadgets and Storytelling: useful or harmful?


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 DeathFromAbove

DeathFromAbove

    Member

  • Members
  • 133 posts

Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:10 PM

Hi there,

I'd like to open this thread with a topic that I've focused in recent times .
I was collecting all my books and tidbits for my session of this weekend and ... suddenly I've realized that I use a miriad of gadgets.
A short list will follow, that is by no mean exaustive:

1) Miniatures (tens)
2) Various cardboard from various publisher that depitc forests, cities, markets, etc.
3) My laptop will all books (and maps) in PDF.
4) Musics and sounds effects (in the laptop), that I play at the right time
4) A full deck of tarots
5) Cermic runes
6) Arcana sheets (self made), used for divination, rune casting, spell casting, etc.
7) Character sheets (self made) that can host infos for whatever tidbits the rules explain.

I'll focus the attention on some of the "pieces" that aren't conventional.

Tarots, runes and arcana sheets.
In essence I use these pieces to create a bond between the PC and the players.

When they do a divination a runecasting/engraving or a spellcasting they are actively doing something in the real world.
In my experience peoples love this types of gadgets that are physical and tangible. Moreover their real-world action have an influence in the game world.

Meanwhile whatever they do in the game world (combat, diplomacy, alchemy, etc.), use their immaginations (and the rules).
I've selected, in the years, the tools that (for me) boost the story and the experience.

Fatigue, wounds and everything else is keeped on ad-hoc made sheets that will minimize the time of bookkeeping. In effect my players gived me hints on where/what they prefer the infos, etc.

Now, to the real topic:

While I like gadgets, I appreciate what can really create a bond with the game world and the players and that gives back something in storytelling and world-immersion.
At the some time these gadgets will "clutter" the table when really needed and this is only a player decision.
What I've also focused is the fact that since not all memebers of the party can do tarots/runes, etc., this often revolves in party interactions on how/when/on what doing this or that, deeping the bonds between players and between PCs.

I really don't know how I'll feel about v3 tokens. They will accomplish the same thing?



#2 Necrozius

Necrozius

    Member

  • Members
  • 947 posts

Posted 22 October 2009 - 01:17 AM

DeathFromAbove said:

4) A full deck of tarots
5) Cermic runes
6) Arcana sheets (self made), used for divination, rune casting, spell casting, etc.

...

Tarots, runes and arcana sheets.
In essence I use these pieces to create a bond between the PC and the players.

When they do a divination a runecasting/engraving or a spellcasting they are actively doing something in the real world.
In my experience peoples love this types of gadgets that are physical and tangible. Moreover their real-world action have an influence in the game world.

...

I love, love, love, LOVE this idea!

Could you please please please describe these Arcana sheets a little more?

As for the question about whether or not the new bits from v.3 will help or hinder... That is difficult to say. I'm thinking that until the players get used to them, they might take a little bit of the focus off the imagination part.

What I'm thinking of doing to speed up this process, is to hold a "prequel" session to my campaign in which the players will take the role of a bunch of pre-made PCs, like a band of rat catchers or grave robbers or something. This will give them an intro to the system and it's myriad number of gadgets.

Hopefully, they'll get the idea well enough that when we begin the REAL campaign, they'll be able to focus more on roleplaying and the story's atmosphere, rather than the gadgets. They'll get over the initial "neat-o!" phase, and take the bits more for granted.

On the other hand, tools like that arcana sheet and tarot cards... I wouldn't want the players to EVER take those for granted! They're so immersive and can REALLY add to the game, even if they do not represent tactile game mechanics.



#3 Parzival

Parzival

    Member

  • Members
  • 95 posts

Posted 22 October 2009 - 02:28 AM

I suspect that the impact the widgets that come with the game will dependly largely on the group & the individual players.

In my own game group, I can see some players actually benefiting  from the "Stance-o-meter" and dice, for example . As it will server as a reminder that how they are doing something is as important as what they are doing.

  My hope is they will think a little bit more, and be more destrciptive in their "statement of intent". This is a bonus, as it will mean I have to ask fewer "leading questions"/make less assumptions.

On the other hand, I know at least one player will not be able to stop himself from making wry comments about anything he finds amusing. Like any card that could possibly be turned in to an off coloured joke.

But that is fine, because to be honest, I think thats part of the reason we keep him around.

As a GM I do agree, that the amount of stuff on the table does worry me a bit.

 

 



#4 crosswiredmind

crosswiredmind

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 22 October 2009 - 04:17 AM

 I am sure that gadgets work for some, and that some gadgets are more commonly used than others.

My WFRP group uses minis and maps but that is the full extent of our gadget use.  We typically run combats once every three sessions so the minis and maps only come out occasionally.  The same is true for our BRP Fallout game.

I guess this is one of my primary concerns about the new WFRP ... I am not sure my group would want to play a game with so many bits to manage.

I don't think that gadgets are inherently useful or harmful.  I guess it depends on the group.






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS