I’d mentioned in my private LJ that I’d been feeling sort of frustrated and depressed by roleplaying games in general. Thoughts behind the cut. I have other things I should be doing. But this has been on my mind a lot lately so I figure I might as well get it out.
I’ve been poking through Spirit of the Century again. johnpaul613 has been talking about using FATE-style Aspects in Amber and it’s made me want to give them a second look. I was hesitant to just toss them in with out much experience with FATE, but now I’m feeling jazzed about the idea. (I’ve managed to temporarily get my gag reflex regarding FUDGE under control.)
While looking at the book I wondered, “How do they handle advancement with this?” So I flip to the back and read through it a bit, and noticed this chunk:
Player characters should always receive the same amount of on-sheet rewards, in order to make sure that everyone remains a peer of one another. Giving out advancement only to those who manage to attend one or more sessions means you’re penalizing those players who may have busier schedules. It’s impolite; don’t do it. The game will benefit when the characters are mutual peers. No one should come back from a playing hiatus to discover he’s become the sidekick.
This is something I’ve struggled with over several campaigns, and something I was planning on dealing with a bit more strictly in future games. So this paragraph gave me pause.
My thoughts behind the cut.
This is the second draft of this. I’d tried writing up something before and it didn’t really address Amber specifically. So I tried to think about what I like in an Amber game and what feeds in to making that sort of quality Amber game. And really, they are the same things that feed into making any game excellent. (Or, rather, my idea of excellent.) Amber just provides a minimal system that makes what I like in gaming even better. The challenge, though, is that the same thing that makes Amber awesome can also lead to a lot of suck.
I’ll warn you that at times this becomes a little ranty. If you feel like you’ve been called out anonymously in this description, keep in mind that in none of the cases where my frustration is with focused more on the players is it a matter of just one (or two, or even three) people who have frustrated me.