7 Feb 2009

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Atheism - God)
Jehovah's Witnesses just came to the door.

I sent them off with Matthew 10:14

They looked confused.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Game Master)
I posted this a couple of years ago in a GURPS group. Though y'all would find it interesting.


Let me tell you about floor plans. Traveller, arguably, is home to the most anal-retentive mob of gear heads in gaming. I know, because I am one. We are talking about people who love to pull out their Texas Instruments scientific calculator because the party *might* need a hovercraft. And we will design everything down to the last liter of space and watt of power.

With all that I have never seen a set of Traveller deck plans that came within 10% of the actual volume of the craft they purported to map out. The worst offender was the Marava-Class Far Trader, which should have named the TARDIS-class!

None of it mattered in the heat of the game. And that was the beginning of my... not quite conversion from gear-heading, but my realization of its proper place.

Take the Enterprise. We knew it had a bridge, a shuttle bay, and engineering control room, sickbay, some cargo holds, at least one mess hall, and that the crew had individual staterooms. Later, we learned that the ship was riddled with access tubes and that there was a bowling alley somewhere onboard! All of these things were connected by a smart set of turbo lifts that not only responded to voice commands, but recognized who was allowed in secure areas (at least I hope the bridge wasn't open to every yahoo Engineering Tech/3rd with a complaint!) We had a vague idea where all these things were. Picture the following gaming sessions..

GM: "The Klingons take advantage of the monetary shield flutter, they've beamed a team into Engineering." (hands note to Player 1)

Player 1: "Captain, they've frozen out the turbo lifts!"

Player 2: (To GM) "Is there another way to get to engineering?"

GM: "Sure, just let me get out my detail maps of every level between you and engineering!" *THUD* "Could you move the pizza? Thanks. OK, behind the communications station is a crawlspace, which leads to a Jeffries tube..."

*or*

GM: "The Klingons take advantage of the monetary shield flutter, they've beamed a team into Engineering." (hands note to Player 1)

Player 1: "Captain, they've frozen out the turbo lifts!"

Player 2: (To GM) "Is there another way to get to engineering?"

GM: "You realize that you could use the engineering access tubes to move from deck to deck. Full out, it will take about fifteen minutes to get to engineering."

Player 3: "Captain, I suggest that a more cautious route would be logical"

Player 2: "Good point. We're going to head down to engineering, but take it slow and careful."

Maps have their place, as does detailing. I just don't let either take over the flow of the game.

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