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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Ry on March 12, 2008, 06:26:14 PM

Title: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Ry on March 12, 2008, 06:26:14 PM
"Let's say" "for the sake of argument" I'm "hypothetically" "thinking about" planning to run a really long IAWA game.  I'm deadset on making my own oracle for the whole thing, which is the same as making a custom setting.

I'd like to make a player's primer as well, something that says "here's what the setting is" including some jargon, a nice, fairly blank map and some pictures (here's what a wyvern looks like, here's how a troll behaves, here's the typical caste system of a city, here's a list of the three promises the gods made to mortals and have to keep). 

Besides scripting 'things that are going to happen' is there anything that I should absolutely avoid preparing?

Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Ben Lehman on March 12, 2008, 06:37:28 PM
... So can I be a hardliner?

Avoid preparing anything but a small number of topically focused oracles.

No pictures.
No guidelines.
Certainly no "players guide."

Trust the group of people that you're playing with or, if you can't, play with a group of people that you trust. It'd be best to let someone else be the GM for the first three chapters.


Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Ry on March 12, 2008, 06:46:14 PM
You can be the hardliner, but I'd really like to do a game of IAWA in a particular setting, and help the players get into it.  I.E. if I did a game of IAWA using Planescape tropes I definitely would provide the players with a sheet with the planar cant on it.  They need to know what a yugoloth is, and if we want that style we need 'berk, cutter, pay the music, dark' and so on.

Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Ry on March 12, 2008, 06:48:44 PM
Also, my gaming situation is very specific: With Play Now and the local scene, I have a massively volatile player base.  At the same time I want to have some kind of consistency for my own enjoyment.  It's not about trust so much as wanting to share this game with people and being realistic about who's showing up week to week.

Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Alan on March 12, 2008, 07:59:09 PM
I'm working on a Conan oracle. I envision a package of a couple of things

1) a sketchy map, essentially with only coastlines and a fe cities or ruins marked on it, no labels.
2) the oracles, chosen from Howard's writing to define characters.
3) a list of ancient peoples -- from which players can name the peoples who inhabit the land.
4) lists of potential character names

I think well chosen oracles will define the kind of characters, beasts, and demons that appear in the world. The group would add to the map as chapters unfolded.

The one thing I think isn't covered by oracles is the Robert Howard feel of magic It's hard to qualify every mention of "wizard" or "sorcerer" with a description of how their magic works.. For this, I hope to lay out some basic guidelines. eg no flashy D&D magic, pulp hypnotism, poison, powders, necromancy, and the rare mind reading or clairvoyance.

Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Troels on March 13, 2008, 04:00:19 AM
I and a IaWA-enthusiast friend of mine have had good, and separate, experiences with using IaWA in definite settings. However, in both cases it was settings that the players were already familiar. In my case, it was with new characters in a S&S setting that fit the existing oracles like a glove, in his case it was the grand action climax of a Nephilim game that he ran in IaWA. And I think, in IaWA, that it is really important that players don't feel constrained by the setting and feel that they have to ask "Can I do that?" or "Is there some place like that?" every other minute, because if they do, they get distracted from going for the throat, which is necessary for the full enjoyment of IaWA. Either, the players should be so familiar that they don't have to ask, or there simply shouldn't be enough setting to constrain them.

So I'll have to go with Ben on this one. Make up Planescape-y oracles if you will, but don't get hung up on what the setting is and isn't, beyond the most general and thematic.

Yours, Troels

PS Ryan, are you the guy with E6? If you are, thumbs up! Best drift ever.

Title: Re: [IAWA] Maximum Prep?
Post by: Ry on March 13, 2008, 04:53:34 AM
Yep, that's me, Troels!  Thanks for the nod.  I wish I wasn't sick to death of d20 because I'm pretty sure I could bust out a badass E6 campaign if I had the inclination. 

Points taken on all counts.  Ever see the Planescape Conspectus?  It was this 8 page poster map thing, one side had the Great Wheel and the other had a guide through sigil (fold out, fold out, fold out, it was sweet).  It didn't have a map, really, just a 'these kind of things are that direction' and 'watch out for Xes!' and 'Rule of Threes'  - that's the sort of thing I'm thinking about for this oracle. 

But it's not planescape, it would be my own tarot thing.