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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 1:57 am 
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I'm about to start a game with a bunch of players who know absolutely nothing about Myst. It's important that they know some stuff, obviously, but it would take a really long time to try to explain it to them. I considered not giving them any context and having them and their characters discover D'ni at the same time, but that would make it nigh-impossible to plan any details in advance with them.
Anybody have any ideas on how to strike a balance?

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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 6:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:12 am
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If you will be playing a game where the characters discover D'ni, there will be a lot of details that you'll have to figure out by yourself. You'll have to improvise a lot.

The trick in that sort of game is to make sure that your characters have motivation that is going to keep them pushing forward, and make sure that they have things to do that the players find interesting.

In game creation, focus on the type of game that they want to play with the caveat that the game is about going into the unknown. During character creation, make sure the characters have good reasons to stay together, and that they will be characters that have things they can excel at that fit the game. Characters that don't want to dig into unknown things, or who are really useless when dealing with the unknown - those players will have a hard time in the game (unless they are going for comic relief or are specifically playing with the idea of a people completely out of their element). Steer them towards explorers of whatever type.

Also, take cues from the characters people come up with. If you have a character who is a socially focused character, make sure there are people for them to interact with on a regular basis: explorers, DRC, Age natives, etc. If you have characters focused on science, make sure they have mysteries that fit their areas of expertise that show up regularly.

You may have to get creative in some places. Say you have a character who is a computer hacker. Computers themselves don't show up much in Myst. Try focusing on the Lattice that runs the KI system and the Great Zero - that's very computer-ish. Say you have someone who is very action-adventure (former soldier, kung fu expert, etc). Fighting isn't a really a Myst thing. Make sure there are lots of physical challenges to overcome: cave ins, surviving in the wilds, earthquakes, floods, locusts, whatever,

Also, beware the info-dump. As Myst fans we often want to go on at length about things ("You found a library! Now let me tell you about all the things in D'ni that the books describe! ...") Info-dumps can really slow down a game. Rather, focus on Discover rolls and Investigation scenes. Give them clues that stick out, and then let them ask questions. And make the answers matter. If you need to info-dump, do it between games (talk to them later, send an email, etc).

Don't be afraid of artistic license, either (Cyan never has been). This is your version of D'ni. Throw in ideas you like. Listen to your player's theories about things and steal their ideas. Or offer to make their theory true by spending a fate point. ("That's a cool idea. Give me a fate point, and you're right.") Don't underestimate the Deduction mechanic either. That's a way for players to get in a little on the world building. These require flexibility, and you might end up with a D'ni that is different than you expect But that can be fun for them, and you as a GM.

I also put your question up on the Unwritten G+ group to see if anyone there has thoughts.
https://plus.google.com/+ScottHamiltonv ... yPgWvFobvG

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Scott L Hamilton
(BladeLakem and J.D. Barnes in Myst Online)
Unwritten designer and rules monkey

Unwritten RPG G+ Community: https://plus.google.com/communities/105 ... 0139147797


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:10 am
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Thanks for the advice!

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