I just want to highlight some posts by other people that I really learned something from.
ars ludi: Grand Experiments: West Marches
I just found these the day before yesterday. That sounds like a fun game. I already do some elements of that:
- the PCs are the real movers and shakers.
- town is a safe place to recover, adventure doesn't happen there.
- start and end in town.
- choices are player-driven.
The player-draw maps of my dungeon, done by many hands, also reflects their map. The drive to be there for the good stuff, same thing. We don't have the same player dynamic - my players aren't rivals. Not even friends with some rivalry. They're friends - so you don't get cliques and factions.
And it sounds like it was a lot of fun. You could do this with Krail's Folly and an online group, for sure. I say you because I'm not going to do that. But I'd try to play.
The Alexandrian: The Art of Rulings
One reason I especially like this post is the discussion of skills. Often you get "skills are bad!" without a lot of discussion of how to use player descriptions in a skill-focused game. Since I play GURPS, skill rolls are central to the game - not just central to combat, like in a lot of D&D-based gaming.
The best takeaway from this post for me? This concept:
"PLAYER EXPERTISE ACTIVATES CHARACTER EXPERTISE
What I mean by this is that the characters don’t play themselves. With the exception of purely passive observation of the game world, players have to call for an action which requires a skill check in order for the skill to be activated."
Basically, tell me what you are doing, and I'll tell you what kind of roll you want to make. It's putting what I meant by my "worst of both new school and old school" line much better. That's what I mean - you the player decide what to do, and say what you're doing, and then rolls determine how well your character is able to achieve it. You can't skip either part, unless the player's decision so self-evidently trumps the roll (something else cover later that same post.)
Good stuff, I'm glad I finally stumbled upon them.