Author Topic: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)  (Read 505499 times)

Z

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #150 on: January 15, 2012, 09:52:38 PM »
"TOSHIRO I SOLD THE CAR!"

Salkovich

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #151 on: January 17, 2012, 11:30:48 AM »
Caleb - How much time writing and preparing do you do for each Know Evil session?
"It's heresy. Burn the heretics." - Ross Payton NEVAR FORGET
"If you are asked, 'Would you like Abraham Lincoln', your answer is always YES."

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #152 on: January 17, 2012, 07:39:30 PM »
Quote
Caleb - How much time writing and preparing do you do for each Know Evil session?

Ummm...I like flowcharts a lot. Like...A LOT. So I design a Prezi with the plot hooks for a tier of the campaign, complete with arrows connecting interrelated adventures. I also animate the presentation to show what order the PC's tackled the previous tier's  plothooks so I don't forget. Each tier takes me about 4-5 hours to plan out that way.

I use the Prezi to keep the big picture in my head. At the end of each session or group of sessions, I ask the guys what plothook they want to hit next.  They decide, and then that's the scenario I write up.

Past that, there is a ton of variation. At this point, I've run a session-and-a-half based off a single drawing I made on a bit of scrap-paper while my kids were taking a test. I've also run single sessions that ate through 21 pages of typed material (single spaced). If I average up my page-count, it seems like I'm wringing a play session out of every 7 pages of typed material.

I'm know I'm doing a lot more work than necessary. I'll often write pages and pages of setting description just for my own edification; most of it never gets mentioned in the game. Or I'll spend an hour stating out a path to the objective that I'm fairly certain no one in the group will ever select. I think I do this because RPG stuff is a form of procrastination I never really feel guilty about ("It's not for ME; it's for the PLAYERS!"). It also might be the way I've chosen to play the game; I probably wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it.

Sorry, I'm getting off on a tangent....For an EP scenario, 10 pages or so of material is a good size for a single, self-contained scenario of 3-4 hours.  The setting is pretty dense and encourages realism (they aren't going to get a quest from a Tavern/ why rescue the princess when we can restore from backup?/ etc) so including some of the Act I and II stuff that gets cut in most RPG's means the actual writing requires a bit more work. Ten pages will give your PC's enough setting description to give them room to play, some investigative footwork, and an encounter or two. Anything more than that and you are probably looking at a two-parter.

I write on my day off and try to do two or three sessions worth of stuff at a shot. That takes me...4-5 hours? So I guess I do a little under 2 hours of work per session. There are a lot of resources out there to speed things up. NPC files are fucking essential; I would not GM without that PDF. Sunward is the best supplement so far (though Gatecrashing will always hold a place in my part) because it gives the best idea of how the factions interact. And go on the EP forums because there is a ton of stuff you can steal and plug in.

I'm finding that things are getting easier the further we get along, but then again, I'm consciously trying to improvise more and plan less. In a campaign, established PC's can pull a lot of the narrative weight once they get their legs under them. I did a shit-ton of planning up front for the Luna finale, but I'd say the last 6-7 hours of gameplay were entirely player-driven. The Earth tier is starting with a pregen setting (The Stars Our Destination) where we are just taking care of player subplots. So I suspect things get less labour intensive the longer you play, but I'm not sure. Once I relax myself into writing and running a game I'm not proud of, I guess I'll have found my equilibrium.

Sorry...I rambled on. IN SUMMATION: I'm the new guy, but I know what works for me. Ross could probably give you better idea of how much work should go into a single session.

Anyway, thanks for the interest Salkovich!

Salkovich

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #153 on: January 17, 2012, 08:37:25 PM »
Man that was fantastic. You rock, Caleb, thanks so much.
"It's heresy. Burn the heretics." - Ross Payton NEVAR FORGET
"If you are asked, 'Would you like Abraham Lincoln', your answer is always YES."

Z

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #154 on: January 17, 2012, 09:58:06 PM »
caleb, how elaborate do the eclipse phase deathtraps become as the campaign goes on

i won't be fully satisfied unless at least one game session is basically an elephant clock of agony

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #155 on: January 17, 2012, 10:57:52 PM »
Well, I can say for certain that there is an all-death trap session in the Luna campaign. Not a single NPC enemy is to be found. Just fucking deathtraps as far as the eye can see.

...which I follow up with a session comprised primarily of deathtraps (I have one NPC!). I blame Jason for that one though; it was his subplot.

The post you are currently reading is, as you may have guessed, a deathtrap. Make a saving throw against the glass shards from your exploding monitor if you can still read this.

Salkovich

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #156 on: January 18, 2012, 07:55:35 AM »
OH GOD MY EYES

THE HUGE MANATEE

WE SHOULD HAVE LISTENED
"It's heresy. Burn the heretics." - Ross Payton NEVAR FORGET
"If you are asked, 'Would you like Abraham Lincoln', your answer is always YES."

Kadyx

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #157 on: February 21, 2012, 01:22:11 AM »
Hey Caleb I was wondering...has any of your students discovered your RPPR games yet?  I was thinking that If I had heard my favorite high school teacher Mr. Ethan running say "Andrews Fortune" it totally would have blown my mind as an adolescent gamer.
Thanks!
 -kadyx

Shallazar

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #158 on: February 21, 2012, 12:24:49 PM »
This might've been asked and answered already bawt,

Q: Mr. Stokes, are you running any shit at Gen Con 2012? Cuz Dangers of Fraternization was probably our favorite game of the con.
I wish I was Tom.

Granted, you are now Tom.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #159 on: February 21, 2012, 01:23:16 PM »
Quote
Hey Caleb I was wondering...has any of your students discovered your RPPR games yet?  I was thinking that If I had heard my favorite high school teacher Mr. Ethan running say "Andrews Fortune" it totally would have blown my mind as an adolescent gamer.

They have not, and I will go through great pains to keep it that way. RPPR is my me time in a job that provides precious little privacy. I am fairly certain I've never mentioned role-playing in class nor written my last name on the main site. I'm not uber-paranoid about it, but I'm in no way eager to reveal my past time for the sake of my job, my sanity, and the site itself. The politics and machinations of public education are far darker than any one would care to guess.

Quote
This might've been asked and answered already bawt,

Q: Mr. Stokes, are you running any shit at Gen Con 2012? Cuz Dangers of Fraternization was probably our favorite game of the con.

First off, thanks! Secondly, it has been a crazy year and I don't know if the deadline has passed or not, but I'd like to run one of the games from the PDF I am kickstarting to pay for the con. Anybody know when the deadline is? Or what the procedures are for running CoC? I know how to run stuff for arc dream, but that's about it.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #160 on: February 21, 2012, 05:08:25 PM »
March 19th is the deadline for event submissions.

At the sound of the beep you will have 27 days to prepare a name and short description for any and all games you want to run and have submitted them via the filing system found here:

http://gencon.com/2012/indy/pm/eo-gm/default.aspx

Beep!

If you submit and aren't linked with a company or other entity with access to a location then you do into the mixer. You'll probably end up in the hallway or the outer reaches (which wouldn't be any farther than one had to go to get to ArcDream's stuff last time; bit of a hike and the worse Starbucks in Indianapolis).
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:17:16 PM by Tadanori Oyama »

scrumpy7

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #161 on: February 23, 2012, 04:14:08 PM »
I agree with all that's been said here. Caleb is an absolutely amazing GM, and his APs are some of my very favorite. Seriously, dude, you're a rockstar. I'm a couple sessions into Know Evil, and it made me so excited about the Eclipse Phase setting that I bought several of the books and will be forcing it on my players soon.

Caleb, you said that "For an EP scenario, 10 pages or so of material is a good size for a single, self-contained scenario of 3-4 hours." Is there any chance you could post your notes for one of these sessions? It'd be very useful as a new EP GM to compare what you had prepared with what what actually happened in the podcast.

Also, when you're playing a game, do you drink lots of liquid, or do you just have a little tiny bladder? Because you sure do take a lot of pee breaks.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #162 on: February 23, 2012, 04:57:06 PM »
Both. My bladder size and the size of my unquenchable thirst are inversely proportional.

Thanks for all the nice things. PM me with your email address and I'll send some stuff.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #163 on: February 23, 2012, 05:02:07 PM »
As a GM powered by soda during gameplay I share your anguish.

When do you plan to do your Kickstarter, by the way? If I know ahead of time I can be sure to have the money ready.

Also, I claim bonus nerd points for knowing what the thing in the box is in the newest Know Evil game.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #164 on: February 23, 2012, 07:26:54 PM »
I'm hoping to offer the kickstarter by the end of March. So far, we're looking at three horror PDF's set in The Great Depression with original monsters and art. A modern scenario (Lover in the Ice) set in the Great Recession will be available at a certain level.

Don't hold me to that; you know how these things can go. But that is the plan of right now.