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And now the work begins…

 Duty & Honour v2  Comments Off on And now the work begins…
Sep 232020
 

The first proper playtest of Duty & Honour v2 has come to an end and now I have a mountainous pile of notes and ideas to wrangle into an actual game text. Gaz, Martin, Andrew, and Guy did an amazing job of not just playing a great game, but also providing great feedback, ideas, and analysis. So much analysis!

But Neil, I hear you cry in my mind’s ear, why does a game that has been out for 12 years need such a rigourous going over? Surely just a lick of paint, some new art, sorting out that Measures issue nonsense, and a quick Kickstarter and you can fund your retirement?

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 Posted by at 6:48 pm

Power and Control: The Out-of-Character Side

 Business Theory and Gaming, Game Play  Comments Off on Power and Control: The Out-of-Character Side
Sep 202020
 

In my last article, I talked about the various types of power and how you could use them to accentuate a PC’s presence in a game or abuse them to undermine the role of the same PC. This time around I’m going to go down the more controversial path and talk about power amongst the players at the table. I’m pretty sure this is going to push a few people’s buttons, but we have to be honest and admit that gaming tables are not a balanced nirvana where all things are equal. There are always imbalances, and I would argue that we can model some of them on different levels of power at the table. So take a deep breath, read charitably, and here we go…

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 Posted by at 10:38 am

Power and Control: The In-Character Side

 Business Theory and Gaming, Game Play  Comments Off on Power and Control: The In-Character Side
Sep 082020
 

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. Perhaps the fear of a loss of power. —John Steinbeck

Following on from the surprising popularity of my article on Player Character Commanding Officers, an article that dipped its toe into the murky waters where management theory and gaming intermingle, I thought it might be fun to do a couple of follow-up articles. Let’s examine ways that the things you learned in GCSE Business Studies might be helpful as a framework to think about gaming activities!

This first piece looks at power – what it is, where it comes from, and how we can examine it around the gaming table, both in-character and out-of-character. It’s inspired by some comments from @NarrativeEscapes, one of my wonderful gaming group. I would recommend checking out his website and youtube channel.

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 Posted by at 8:55 am

Captain, My Captain

 Business Theory and Gaming, Game Play  Comments Off on Captain, My Captain
Sep 062020
 

The issue of one PC having authority over another has been something that has perpetuated through RPGs for decades. When I first created Duty & Honour, over a decade ago, it was something that was cited as a facet of the genre that would make it a bad game; something that could only end in disaster. With the recent success of Star Trek Adventures, there are once again GMs wondering whether a table can handle those fateful words “That’s an order!”

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 Posted by at 10:10 am

Playtest Session #4: Sacred Cows

 Duty & Honour v2  Comments Off on Playtest Session #4: Sacred Cows
Aug 312020
 

One of the things that has inadvertently evolved from our playtest campaign is a willingness to really deep dive into the core mechanics and structures of the game and question them. We have already had a long, hard and testing look at the Mission system and worked it into a state where it seems fair, balanced and pays off well. It isn’t radically different from the original, but it does what it is meant to do, better. This session solved one of these questions – skirmishes – and raised another one – skills.

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 Posted by at 8:36 am