Friday, September 28, 2018

Much Ado For Errybuddy

I been thinking. I'm a zero-prep type. I find that if I prep very little for a session, I'm better able to savor that feeling of discovery and share in it. Also, if I'm running e.g. Barrowmaze or ASE then that GENERATOR lobe is free to get tone across. I noticed recently though that my freeing up of MY brain sometimes leaves players hanging because even if I'm coordinating the thing weird and wooly the way I like with eg Tablesmith, then the very nature of pseudorandom means it's likely a few people going to be bored. Generate 10 rooms. 8 have monsters. Some treasure. No traps. The thief is bored. Damage low. Irritable monsters. Cleric's bored. Etc.

I started recently to focus more on good stuff to build into games on top of the pseudorandom bones of it. So, fighters always going to get the opportunity to smash, intimidate, lift. Thieves to tinker and steal. MUs going to find weird artifacts, demons, etc. Clerics to persuade the ignorant and expand the influence of their God. Robots to hack and not feel emotions. I know who's probably going to make it thanks to FB so I know what I ought to present for them to have a crack at.

My way of thinking about this suggests that instead of generating A feature in e.g. Tablesmith, I ought to generate two or more features based on different classes, stats, or traits and mix it up so that it's not too repetitive in terms of who gets to play with it. Never one solution means nobody will be bored.

I guess these are sound design principles at the bottom i.e. Nothing new there. The important piece is to recognize the balance between shunting responsibility onto the machine system procedurally versus the need to keep players engaged by offering them a range of things to noodle with.

Maybe I'll tinker with the code later and devise some THERES ALSO THIS HERE charts

Maybe look into the 5-room dungeon thing since there's no way I'm able to get more rooms than that into a session

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