This Blog 2019, Goals and Grommets

Inspired by the 2019 goals post over at Charles's Dragons Never Forget Blog, I figured I would do the same thing. 2018 right around ...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

B.P.G.D. side effects might include....

I would like to talk about a horrible and fictional illness that afflicts me and I am sure at least one or two other people in the world.
B.P.G.D or (Blah-puh-ggud) better known as ( Bi Polar gamers’ disorder)
Let me explain, unlike true Bi, Polar disorder or any true non-fictional disorder this is not serious, life threatening or found in the DSM-V. This makes sense considering I made it up.
It is however annoying to me and I’m sure those around me.
B.P.G.D. is effectively a cyclical disorder, where in every few months the victim, just stops being motivated to game, run games write games etc. (usually accompanied by notions of , no time of this waste of my time, dark thoughts about Cuthulu and video games) The down months are followed by a period of, “HOLY SHIT I HAD THIS GREAT IDEA …OR FIVE!”  These periods can last weeks or months but they definitely cycle.
Right now I am in a down month, I want so bad to work on a new RPG idea I had a few weeks back but right now I’m just not motivated, or interested. The switch is effectively off.
I have no idea why.
So in an effort to get the wheel turning again I’m going to list out everything that I had floating in my head for this  new RPG  in no order.
Setting stuff, system stuff all mixed together, dogs and cat living under one roof, chaos, blood for the blood god, hot dogs, and everything.
Here we go. (In no order)
Bidding system for action resolution.
How much risk are you willing to take to get an action done? What is the resource?
Narrative actions,  use narration to lower action difficulty
Characters as collections of skills and connections, not stats and numbers.
Diesel punk world with floating sky islands?
A world not completely mapped , by any one?
Mustaches, tweed, bomber jackets, for queen and country?
American mythos, things that exist in modern legends?
Talking out actions rather than moving into system, only using the system at impasses.
Not GM’less
Not one shot (just not my cup of ale)
Players having a main character and two or three background NPC’s to use also.
A system of framing games that is tailored to how we actually play, in short episodes.
Goals like phase to move character growth along.
A town without dance’n!?...  JUMP BACK!
Automatically interesting characters.
Has to be a game I would want to play or run.
Co-op character creation amongst the group, no man is an island!

That is all I have right now. Well that and a file on my thumb drive at home called “New RPG” with about twelve lines typed out.
I guess I am hoping someone will comment with a neat observation, or something on that list will get me fired up again.  
B.P.G.D. is not a real illness, but it is real to me, I loose interest in pretty much everything  on a regular schedule, and it makes me a difficult , bastard. This time I am going to take a shot at trying to break the cycle, and perhaps finally finish something…. I think…


  1. "Characters as collections of skills and connections, not stats and numbers."

    I'm looking at the idea of treating interactions as a game element, can you expand on the "connections" mentioned here?

    1. Hey Greyooze, sorry I did not get right back, thanks for reading.
      On to connections.
      The group I play rpg's with and I wrote a house game called Phase Abandon. In Phase when ever a character interacts with an NPC the player can opt to write down the NPC as a connection.

      During play if appropriate the player can roll on the rank of that connection if they thing that NPC might be able to help them out some how.
      For example if Rik knows city guard Abe pretty well he might have a connection level 3 with Abe. If Rik wants to learn some info about a crime that occurred the night before he might roll on his connection with Abe, if he is successful the player can narrate what Abe tells him..
      Naturally if he fails the roll his relation ship with Abe might be negatively effected.
      There is also an opportunity for the GM to use the players connection, as a hook, as in Abe might call on Rik to help him using the level of connections he has with Rik as leverage and if Rik just ignores it it could effect his connection to Abe negatively.
      Phase is a game of risks with dice and really any roll has the potential to mess your character up in some way, minor or major.

      For this new game I want to work on, I am hoping to integrate “connections” directly into character creation and make the use of connections to fuel narration more natural and less mechanical. I'm not 100% sure how yet . In the case of connections I am thinking of using betting chips to represent the amount of pressure a player Is putting on a connection to get something done. Bid near what the gm thinks the connection can take, and thing will go well, over bid and it's just to much for the connection and the relationship may weaken...under bid and the connection might not take the character seriously.
      Right now it's all just theory, I need to get cracking on it.
      Thank you for the question and the interest!

    2. Thanks, that was useful! Have you read the Eclipse Phase rulebooks? They have "social network" stats that work in similar ways, but with individual relationships abstracted into a network score (with different networks for different kinds of people/endeavours). You might be able to mine some ideas out of that.
      Justin Alexander had a nice article on using the Eclipse Phase social networks in reverse like you discuss (where other people come to get favours from *you*):

  2. Hey Greyooze I have been loving the creatures and situation on in your A-Z list over at
    fantastic stuff!

    I have a PDF of Eclipse Phase and though I love the fluff and I realy dig the setting I find PDF's super hard to jsut sit down and read. Now that I know that is there I will be reading it tonight ! .. Thank you!