Friday, January 13, 2012

300 x.p. for 3 minutes

The new revision of the Savage Worlds RPG has something neat that captured my imagination and inspired me to an idea that could be used in just about any game that runs on x.p. This will piss off those who think that awarding experience points for anything other than hauling back gold coins and slaying monsters is akin to signing one's soul over to Mr. Pip, but so be it ("x.p. for plot points", they will cry, and I will simply shrug). My idea is thus (and it's not something that I would introduce to Adventures Dark and Deep, but it's definitely something I might do in my own campaign).

In "interludes", that is, times when the characters are on an extended journey, or an extended period of rest, one or more might be given the opportunity to do a little off-the-cuff exposition on some aspect of their character. The theme would depend on the situation, and ideally, I'd have a quick table (d6, d8, or maybe d12, depending on the circumstance and how inventive I feel) that would give a broad theme.

The player is expected to provide an in-character exposition relating to the theme. If they can keep up the banter for a full three minutes, they earn 300 x.p. (At higher levels, say 10 and above, I could see myself making that 3,000.)

One sample table could be, for a period of down-time while another player character was recuperating from a nearly fatal wound and nothing much else was going on:
  1. A romantic encounter
  2. A run-in with the law
  3. The PC discovers a new personal goal
  4. A friendship with an NPC that flourished briefly and ended suddenly
  5. A religious revelation
  6. An old skeleton in the closet emerges
  7. The PC is the victim of a scam artist
  8. A brief encounter with royalty, nobility, or some other high-echelon of society
The idea is that the player, in the course of describing the encounter, would have the opportunity to add a little something to the campaign. The GM would, naturally, have complete veto power, and be able to gently guide the player as he does his narration (filling in details and names and such), but the idea is that the campaign grows organically, and giving the players the opportunity to do so in a way that's particularly specific to their character.

I bought a nifty little hourglass-timer on eBay that goes for 3 minutes. Can't wait to try it out. Fair warning to my players-- 3 minutes is an awfully long time to talk.

EDIT: Some folks seem to have gotten something of an incorrect notion about this. It would be an opportunity to earn the x.p. through a little impromptu character development. As in, "Who wants to earn 300 x.p.?" and the first person to raise their hand gets the chance. Nobody would be chosen, randomly or otherwise.

NYT "Twenty Sided Store" Article

The New York Times has a great article about gaming, featuring The Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn. Looks like a neat place; I'll have to check it out the next time we visit my wife's family. (You'll probably need a free registration to read the article.)

(H/T to Tavis Allison)