January 8, 2012

Moving Along

While I change a few things here and there to GGG, fixing a few problems that slipped past and adding elements that were requested, I figure I should drop a few choice words about the game. Beyond the generic rambling about roleplaying games and the basic rules of the game and whatnot in the book proper.

For the most part I want to address how GGG plays (or how it was designed to be played) as that is a matter that I have been asked about a few times. Giant Guardian Generation proper is, much like its most obvious inspiration, a mash up of existing roleplaying systems, taking inspiration from mechanics, gameplay elements, and design principles from all kinds of sources - enough that going into them would require a blog post of its own.

Let's cut to the chase: GGG is an episodic mecha game much in the style of Mecha anime where every episode either has a new gimmicky enemy (the so-called 'Monsters of the Week') or one skirmish against multiple enemies, usually recurring ones (much in the style of Yoshiyuki Tomino's series, of which the most known is the Gundam franchise), often whatever it is that happened during battle would be related to events in the lives of the protagonists and serve as a way to develop them as characters.

One example would be a character fearful of spiders who has to do battle with a giant spider-like alien to protect his hometown, you could also have two pilots with opposite personalities who do not get along at all having to use teamwork in order to beat a stronger foe and begrudgingly accepting the other, or even a young teenager in love who finds that their sweetheart was an enemy this time all along.

Now what makes watching a TV show fun (or reading a book, or what have you) is not the same as what makes playing a game fun. Some things are fun to experience passively, but prove to be annoying when done in an interactive medium - the example given in the book is about developing enemy NPCs, and how they can't afford to have entire scenes about themselves simply because that is time in which the PCs are stacking up towers of dice and playing with their phones, because they are not actually playing the game.

We can take one thing from episodic fiction though: Episodes of GGG are meant to give the PCs a chance to roleplay their Themes either during an Intermission or during an Operation - sometimes both. Any excuse to gather the group together will do (such as those from the d100 Table in the GM's Section) and from there, the GM is to provide content uniquely suited to the PCs, preferably involving multiple characters each time.

Then come the battles. You know, the ones with the robots? Before this game started to be about all that pretentious stuff regarding storytelling and characterization? Yeah, those. The easiest of battles should be the Operations during the early Episodes, requiring no more than one or at most two Genre per PC to pull a victory and increasing in difficulty gradually until the end of the Episode Arc, which should leave them empty of points or close to it. Repeat every Arc until the world has been saved or your equivalent ending has been achieved.

This is what it boils down to in theory. Again, shaking things up is recommended, not just to keep things exciting but also to make them suit the individual group's own style best. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

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