A roundup of the things I was checking out this week.
Magnetic Rose is a Mothership Module
One of the things that I’ve said a bunch of times in my life is “what if I start checking out anime” and then… never do that. I’ve seen the big ones, of course, like the stuff by Miyazaki, and Ghost in the Shell, but that’s about as deep as I’ve delved. I saw that this was up for free on youtube, and checked it out. It immediately grabbed me—a salvage crew in space responding to an SOS, finding a huge piece of space junk, delving down into the heart of it, finding something… strange and otherworldly?
It’s good. I loved it. And my RPG brain knows that it would make the perfect sci-fi module.
NFTs Are Bad, Obviously
I don’t have any notes on this one, and it is 2 hours long, but it’s such a deep dive into why blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs are all just such… bad technology. Whatever notions I had before about them, they’re all somehow worse than I thought.
More Narrative, More Mechanics
In this issue, we’re diving into mechanics that blend together with narrative.
What on earth are narrative mechanics? They are mechanical elements of the game that inform the narrative aspects of the game. For example, if a game handles PC/NPC interaction purely narratively, but the GM still takes into account that it says “charming” on the player’s character sheet when determining the NPC’s reaction, that’s a narrative mechanic. It’s not “mechanical,” per se, but it is a formalized way of directing the story with narrative content.
Essentially, the article goes on to give a lot of examples about narrative mechanics in games, but most of them are from the perspective of a GM deciding when to leverage them. If you’ve got rules that handle how well you talk to people and rules that handle how well you shoot people, if a scenario “nullifies” the talking mechanics by opening a backdoor (If the PCs have worked here before, they don’t need to roll), you’re essentially undercutting players that spend points increasing their talking skill.
I need to think on this more, and wish that there were some more solid examples that weren’t GM principles, and instead narrative mechanics hard-coded right into the game.
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