- Russell Morrissey Interview
- Sarah Newton Interview
- [Mongoose Publishing] Paranoia: Implausible Deniability
- [Mongoose Publishing] Paranoia: Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues (Remastered)
- Sandy Petersen Interview
- [Just Crunch Games] Three Faces of the Wendigo
- [Ennead Games] Encounters & Events: SciFi Volume 3 – Planets
- [Grim & Perilous Studios] ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG: Core Book
- [Ennead Games] Equipment Maker 5: Rings
- [DramaScape] Modern Ruins 7
Trapped Between the Pages
Can campaign books be too constricting at times?
In my little and limited experience with role playing games, I’ve run what must be collectively 3-4 campaigns and one shots and one thing I have always had issues with was campaign books. As I’ve said previously I like free roaming, wide open games to encourage my players to let their imagination run free and really immerse themselves into the world. Because I began my time as a GM doing this I’ve found campaign books to be cramped and limited, and the ones I have bought are usually turned into reference materials. Recently I’ve been planning a few new campaign ideas with friends and as ambitious as these ideas are they are all possible thanks to the power of the imagination… and the right system.
The fact you are bound to a select path and a few avenues of space to discover and move within has all the intentions of keeping the players on track and leading them to the ending of the plot. But if there is little to do beyond, let’s say, discovering the cause of monsters attacking a village and navigating the big bad boss guys evil dungeon in search of him, then is leaves a lot of people dissatisfied. Recently one of my group decided to run War of The Dead a brilliant campaign setting published by one of my favourites, Cubicle 7 (and written by Daring Entertainment). We began the cruise ship adventure with a lot of movement around areas and immersing ourselves into it when naturally zombies attack and we have to build a plan to survive. This is where problems arose. The plan that myself and a friend thought up was to simply escape the boat as fast as possible with probably some alternate plan to detonate the boat and the likes. Yes, it is a very simple idea that yields no adventure but I like to be extreme and efficient. So the GM stops us and says we have to team up with the security and help them with everything. The more we tried to think outside the box the more the GM got fed up with the book and the more we got fed up with being trapped in the guidelines of the story. It’s probably my fault we were all like that because their first ever game was mine in an open realm to play in.
So after a few games the GM decides he’s going to read up on the books and go on the fly from there with his own notes. This is problematic because he spent cash on the book only to use it like I do, as reference material. So I have to leave an open question to readers, give me your point of view on this, which school do you belong in, free form gaming or campaign book gaming? Answers in the comments area below please.
‘Til next time adventurers.