Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just a Simple Hobby

Last night, I dreamed of visiting another group's D&D campaign, and found their gaming setup to be a little more elaborate than the usual crowded-table-in-the-basement arrangement.

The game itself seemed to be a heavily-houseruled mishmash of 1st edition AD&D rules and Basic/Expert rules, and was set on an alternate Earth that combined historical elements anywhere from the 5th century A.D. to the 19th century, with a bunch of elves and orcs thrown in for good measure, of course. It was the kind of D&D game Baron Munchausen would have played. I wouldn't mind trying a game like that myself, but the game wasn't as remarkable as the way it was played.

The group, which seemed to encompass about twenty members, met in a space the size of a gymnasium. On the walls were banner-size posters showing maps of the game world, diagrams of the airships the PC's used for transport, and so forth. LCD projectors were used to display up-to-date game statistics as well as other media.

The group's standard game session was divided into three phases, with a pre-determined amount of time allotted for each. The first phase was conventional dice-and-paper roleplaying, managed by the gamemaster. The second phase was reserved to allow players to give multimedia presentations of what their characters had been up to in between game sessions. (A friend of mine, who appeared in the dream, had used a platform-style video game to prepare a machinima movie showing his warrior-mage's exploits.) The third phase was dedicated to free-form roleplaying between the players.

This seems like more effort than I personally would be willing to devote to a session of roleplaying, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised to find out that some group, somewhere, is doing exactly this. I do, however, think the idea of a "buffet table of history" game world might be interesting, and I'll have to put it on my mental idea shelf for possible use later.