04 #RPGaDay2020 Vision

Visualization & RPGs (Trial Scene). I have spent some time researching and pondering the topics of Motor Imagery & Creative visualization. Whilst half of my degree is in Psychology, I am far from an expert, so I will avoid misleading anyone with poor scientific summaries. More usefully, I think many people will be familiar with the common parlance term: Visualization. Like many people I have used visualization in many ways, in particular with practicing martial arts and running, but also with RPG. Because of health these days I can do far less physically, but I can still run through positions and movements in my minds-eye.

There are several Visualization RPG topics that I will explore on other event days, from ways to prepare a game as a GM/Organiser, running through mental images of a character arc or backstory, designing games and imagining play. For today, I wanted this answer to focus on PCs’ & Visualization of a scene. This has me thinking about player expectations, another fascinating topic for another day, but to clarify I mean a character visualizing a task, particularly something they have time to prepare for.

Some game scenarios are about the PCs preparing for something: a competition, a physical puzzle, rescuing hostages from gunmen, a fight with a dragon, etc. Can the PCs earn a mechanical bonus if they have practiced (drilled) and visualized the action?

Visualization could be a way to explore play, to carry out a dry-run of an encounter. This could be developed to cover what the PCs think the scenario will involve. This could add an extra level of surprise, when the opponent they have imagined fighting many times turns out to have an unknown ability, or a weakness the opponent has is false. I have used this Trial Scene technique with new and young players. Some apprehensive players may find this method extra helpful.

To clarify: I am not referring to rewinding game time / reloading the game. That is another topic entirely. Some games even suit it, although it is a bit of a cliché in fantasy, well it was in my school D&D games.

As for bonuses, well, given the multitude of game systems and methods of handling tests, the scale of a bonus will depend on the group’s preferences. I’d recommend the number be small, a way to trial the idea without overwhelming the system. A 5% modifier for a percentile game, +1 for D20, is a good starting point. Maybe an extra dice for games using a dice pool; maybe a distinctive dice is used, requiring a higher target number?

Visualization and Practice for SFRPG

This topic is a big part of my magic martial arts game: #FlowFighters: Visualization and Practice. I originally developed the idea in the 90s when playing games like Street Fighter and Ninja & Superspies. For Street Fighter, the game wonderfully includes a method to help a character prepare for a fight on short notice. With an Insight roll, after observing the person for 3 rounds (30 turns), combat cards can be revealed; yes the PC can watch fighters to see what Manuevers they use, but it is a big difference seeing some of their stats! The game also highlights the value of other methods, in particular how a good Manager can find out information about other fighters.

I am taking the idea a bit further here. Fighters have habits; the good fighters reduce those habits and typically diversify their techniques. The exceptional fighters take this even further, minimising these details so they are near impossible to exploit. This also applies to Team Fights.

If a character knows about another character’s fighting habits, maybe they can exploit those weaknesses by drilling specific movements over and over. The character gains an extra soak and damage dice with 1 specific Manuever of theirs, against 1 specific opponent for 1 specific Maneuver. Crucially this will not guarantee a fight outcome, nor destroy player expectations or system balance. Consider any mid-ranked PC drilling to win a fight with any World Warrior.

Maybe a group would like to explore multiple Visualization and Practice? I don’t recommend it, whilst fight camps are a big deal in the real world, do we want training and drilling to power creep SFRPG?

Should this be auto soak? I’d suggest it is a dice roll. Maybe pre-roll to save slowing things down, to not break combat card habits. Up to you. 🙂

This modifier could apply against other people that fight in a similar way, but only if the character knows this. Keep the heart of this idea of Visualization and Practice in mind, how similar are they? Because if their reach, timing, general size, or other factors are too different, then the Visualization and Practice bonus shouldn’t apply.

Fighters from the same school may all have a habit of performing a Maneuver the same way. Maybe a PC recognises this. But again the Visualization and Practice bonus is unlikely for all practitioners from that school, because of the differences between the fighters, each individuals subtle habits.

We could take this idea to a silly level if we think of D&D Ranger with Favoured Enemy, but in this case ‘Enemy Style’. Crazy, hmm… don’t do that. 😉

Drilling Time: I would recommend a fighter needs a few weeks to a month to drill a combo enough. I do not recommend it requiring any experience points.

One downside to Visualization and Practice for SFRPG, it is something else the GM needs to consider for each fighter. Maybe only PCs can do it, giving them a tiny bonus over a few opponents, if they can prepare!

Temporary Bonus: Opponents can change their habits. So, Visualization and Practice won’t give a permanent bonus. Also, what if their habit is a misdirection, a rumour.

Inigo: I am not left-handed!

Other Peoples’ Answers

David F Chapman @Autocratik

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/08/rpgaday2020-day-four-vision.html

Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger

https://castingshadowsblog.com/2020/08/04/rpgaday2020-day-4-vision/

The Rolistes Podcast @rolistespod on different visions of what the status quo is

Sue Savage @SavageSpiel

https://savagespiel.blogspot.com/2020/08/rpgaday-vision.html

Kyle Porter @porterportfolio

Kevin B. Madison @dungeonmusings

https://anchor.fm/dungeonmusings/episodes/Beginnings–Change–Vision–and-Threads-ehmlcd

Charles Etheridge-Nunn @charlie_en

https://fakedtales.com/2020/08/04/rpg-a-day-2020-part-four-vision-as-a-great-narrative-prompt/

@SLEGARCHIK254

Roberto Micheri @Sunglar

Questing GM @questinggm on vision, and the importance of checking it

Craig Oxbrow @CraigOxbrow writes about visual media and visualising characters

https://thewatchhouserpg.blogspot.com/2020/08/rpgaday2020-4-vision.html

Complex Games Apologist @CGApologist

Eric Jacobson @viscounteric writing about vision and how it relates to topic of railroading

https://gamingwiththegnomies.blogspot.com/2020/08/rpgaday2020-day-4-campaign-vision.html

Ben Erickson @darkcyril looks at gazing

https://corerulebook.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/rpgaday2020-vision/

Bryon1187 @bryon1187 on game vision and relationships

Paco from GMS Magazine @gmsmagazine on understanding our vision and our scope

Leojenicek @D_and_DHaiku

The Kind GM @TheKindGM

https://thekindgm.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/rpgaday-2020-day-4-vision/

Melestrua @Melestrua

https://melestrua.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/rpgaday2020-day-4-vision/

Ryan Heck | Aqualith Media @aqualithmedia

https://ko-fi.com/post/Aqualith-AM-RPGaDay2020-Day-4-Vision-Illuminati-P5P420JUX

M&B Liam @_Boganova_

Adam Dickstein @alien_barking

http://barkingalien.blogspot.com/2020/08/rpgaday-challenge-2020-vision.html

This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.

#RPGaDay2020 + Street Fighter RPG

This year I’ve committed myself to the idea of posting for #RPGaDay in both English and Portuguese BR, specifically about Street Fighter RPG. I may make an extra post about other RPGs. This was inspired by the SFRPG Brazilian community’s level of activity and the all the numerous people that help make the fanzine Punho do Guerreiro (Warrior’s Fist) a reality! Extra thanks to Eric, my translation sensei 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfrpgbr

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfstg/

My health has improved a lot this year, so I am optimistic about the workload, but my dad’s health is poor so I might not have the time each day. Still, better to try and fail, then to not try at all. Now to finalise my ideas for the numerous prompts 😉

For the prompts, plus hex map and dungeon artwork go to Dave Chapman’s blog 😀

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/06/announcing-rpgaday2020.html

Portuguese BR

Olá,

O RPGaDay é um evento que acontece todos os anos durante o mês de agosto. Em cada dia, postamos algo sobre o RPG, acrescentando a hashtag #RPGaDay2020. Algumas pessoas esquecem o ano e só usam o #RPGaDay, eu uso ambos. A maioria das pessoas twita alguma coisa. Algumas pessoas fazem vídeos, escrevem posts em blogs, e/ou desenham imagens; algumas até fazem todas essas coisas. O objetivo é permanecer positivo; temos o resto do ano para fazer comentários negativos. Participam pessoas de todas as partes do mundo. Acho interessante e divertido ler sobre as anedotas e ideias de outras pessoas. É geralmente fácil escrever um Tweet curto de 280 caracteres, e às vezes difícil não escrever muitos Tweets em resposta.

Este ano estamos usando uma única palavra, os participantes são bem-vindos para interpretar a palavra da maneira que quiserem. Há um mapa hexadecimal e também um mapa de masmorra, para tornar o evento mais parecido com um jogo.

Enquanto um post pode ser sobre qualquer RPG, eu estou pensando em ideias relacionadas a Street Fighter. Eu poderia fazer dois Tweets, um especificamente sobre o SFRPG e outro sobre outros RPGs.

Como exemplo, estes são meus Tweets para 2019: https://twitter.com/Batjutsu/status/1157276746800082949. Para os anos anteriores, eu comecei em 2017 e houve longas perguntas, eu normalmente escrevia demais https://batjutsu.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/rpgaday/

Pensando especificamente neste grupo SFRPG do Facebook, além de ser divertido, talvez algumas respostas possam ajudar a gerar ideias e conteúdo para futuras publicações do Punho do Guerreiro. A sugestão diária poderia inspirar idéias sobre Manobras Especiais, aventuras, torneios, locais, personagens, Itens de Poder, e muito mais!

A vida é cheia de ocupações, portanto, se você perder um dia, não se preocupe, talvez poste em uma data posterior. Talvez você prefira trabalhar um pouco todos os dias em um projeto de Street Fighter, possivelmente apenas postando a ideia completa no último dia de agosto. Se você estiver muito ocupado agora, talvez poste suas ideias mais tarde, no final do ano.

Para não sobrecarregar este grupo, sugiro que para cada dia tenhamos um post central, em que todos possamos colocar nossas respostas. Depois, no dia seguinte, outro posto principal, e assim por diante. Para os participantes, porque há tanto conteúdo gerado, acho que é melhor manter as respostas curtas. Mas, se você quiser escrever muito, nem que seja apenas para seu próprio prazer, vá em frente. Divirta-se.

Eric “Musashi” Souza e Richard “Bat” Brewster

English

Hello,

RPGaDay is an event that runs each year during August. Each day we post something about RPG, adding the hashtag #RPGaDay2020; some people forget the year and only use #RPGaDay, I use both. Most people Tweet something. Some people make videos, write blog posts, and/or draw images; a few even do all. The aim is stay positive; we have the rest of the year to make negative comments. People from all over the world participate. I find it interesting and fun to read about other people’s anecdotes and ideas. It is generally easy to write a short Tweet of 280 characters, sometimes hard not to write lots of Tweets in response.

This year we are using a single word, participants are welcome to interpret the word anyway they want. There is a hex map and also a dungeon map, to make the event more like a game.

Whilst a post can be about any RPG, I am thinking about ideas relating to Street Fighter. I might do two Tweets, one specifically about SFRPG and one on other RPGs.

As an example, these are my Tweets for 2019: https://twitter.com/Batjutsu/status/1157276746800082949. For the previous years, I started in 2017 and there were long questions, I typically wrote way too much https://batjutsu.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/rpgaday/

Thinking specifically about this Facebook SFRPG group, in addition to this being fun, maybe some answers could help generate ideas and content for future Punho do Guerreiro publications. The daily suggestion could inspire ideas about Special Maneuvers, adventures, tournaments, locations, characters, Items of Power, and more!

Life is busy, so if you miss a day, don’t worry, maybe post at a later date. Maybe you’d prefer to work a little bit each day on a Street Fighter project, possibly only posting the completed idea on the final day of August. If you are too busy now, maybe you post your ideas later in the year.

To not overwhelm this group, I suggest that for each day we have one central post, that we can all put our answers in. Then the next day another main post, and so on. For those participating, because there is such much content generated, I find it is best to keep answers short. But, if you want to write lots, if only for your own enjoyment, go right ahead. Have fun.

Eric “Musashi” Souza and Richard “Bat” Brewster

 

 

Kaizo Trap – A Love Story

The following article was originally published in 2016 on a gaming website, but that has now gone. I still love the Kaizo Trap, so I decided to reupload my article here. 🙂

Kaizo Trap is a short animated masterpiece by Guy Collins. It’s wonderfully realised, has an intriguing and heartfelt story, incredibly fitting music by Leslie Wai, and a lot more to it than is immediately obvious, due to the incredible amount of Easter Eggs. If you haven’t watched the video, which was painstakingly made over a 16 month period, please do so now:

Since I’m not a hardcore platform gamer I had to look-up the meaning of the term. From TVTropes:

“A Kaizo Trap is a type of video game Hope Spot: You have just finished a difficult challenge, such as defeating a boss, completing a level, or even winning the whole game. The battle is over and you breathe a sigh of relief. Then the game kills you during the victory cutscene, and you have to do it all over again.The player has to find a way to defuse the trap before completing their actual goal, as their fate is otherwise unavoidable after triggering the cutscene and losing control of their character.”

For me this is the greatest animated love story since the opening scenes of Up! The sequence covering Ellie and Carl’s life together has so much crammed in, and as here in Kaizo Trap and there being no dialogue, yet the display of emotion is brilliant, in particular the diverse expressions shown with the eyes – much like Gromit, too, from Nick Park’s series of clay-mation shorts and feature films. I reference Gromit in part I noticed one of Kaizo’s screens has text taken from Harlan Ellison’s short-story “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”. Gromit doesn’t speak and is trapped in a crazy life.

All relationships require commitment, and this story clearly shows the dedication required to get to the end, to stay together. For most people life does not have an easy mode, and some people are born in to the worst conditions with poor health. Even a hard life can be made worse when addiction is involved.

There has been a lot of debate about whether gaming is addictive. While studying Psychology at university I came across a few papers on the subject. In layman’s terms: some people are more susceptible to addiction, and since some games are designed to exploit the principles demonstrated via the Skinner Box (Extra Credits made a good video on this subject) I don’t want to say that games aren’t addictive, rather that the topic requires something more complex than a binary answer.

With the above concept in mind, one possible way this story can be viewed is as the heroine helping her partner to escape his gaming addiction. The in-game deaths could represent the numerous attempts to help him break the addiction cycle, the Continue screen representing the character secretly pondering about whether to give up on the relationship, to move on with her life. That in the end fight she manages to break him out, but the console grabs him again; I love how evil the console looks. In life there is no end fight whilst we are alive, and whilst addictions can be broken, people can be grabbed again.

The final fight happens with the addict once again gaining enough awareness to realise the damage his addictive trap is causing to a loved one; pain is a big part of this story, consider the sheer amount of deaths involved. As the game is crashing there is an interesting ghost image slightly ahead of the heroine’s, was this the echo of his million attempts, or him now struggling to assist her? Her efforts help him break free, and she immediately runs away, with him in hand, to escape the trap. A black hole starts to form, could it represent more than the game world’s destruction, maybe it is the intense gravity of addiction, or maybe depression. That if they do not do all they can to leave this mental place/ trap that they would be lost, forever? There is the possibility that if this is about addiction, and since she was dragged in to his world, that she is also fighting her own addiction?

There are all sorts of interesting aspects to the animation, a lot of which are on-screen for only the briefest of moments. I read a comment suggesting the amount of blood splatters implies places where the character has died previously, I am not sure about this, but it could be correct. Other things such as the Tool-Assist prohibited message, where the key was acquired, and so much more.

As the couple run away I’m reminded of Ico due to the hand holding of the two characters, thankfully this was confirmed by Guy Collins via a YouTube comment. Is the appearance of the game crashing part a tribute to the old kill screen from Pac-Man? I have been looking at every frame trying to spot yet more Easter Eggs, I guess I’ve still missed things.

The more I think about Kaizo Trap the more I want to write. This article is a Kaizo Trap, if I don’t submit soon I will write more and more. There is even more to Kaizo Trap, like the series of clever hidden puzzles and secret endings, and I admit to not even trying to decipher that side of things, I am still happy watching the video over and over! The tale told in Kaizo Trap has so much to it that can easily be interpreted in a multitude of ways, give the video a look and see what you figure out.  😀

I return to the music, I love Leslie Wai’s work, and importantly you can buy the Kaizo Trap Download Pack, which includes 2 great tracks. Sometimes when I went to get motivated, I stick this on. Plus Leslie’s cover of Modern Love, which is superb, has a lovely bit of his distinctive sound, reminding me of Kaizo Trap. 😉

Update: Youtube changed how it worked, so Guy Collins Animation has made the hidden videos public on their channel. Just had another rewatch, it is still fabulous! This article was never an attempt to break down every aspect, for that check out the video and/or reddit, or as mentioned above: “see what you figure out”. 😉

#RPGaDAY2020 Has Been Announced

This year’s #RPGaDay has been announced, another inspiring collection of prompts, once again presented in a fun graphic by the great Will Brooks. I look forward to the event each year; I strive to read as many tweets and watch as many videos as possible, plus try to reply and encourage others to keep going. There are always interesting stories and ideas about role-playing, a treasure trove of anecdotes and wisdom.

I have thought about the various ways I could answer the prompts. I am tempted to be more creative this year, inspired by many previous participants, but in particular @Catrinity and @CoronaTinoF, who I wrote about in my summary of #RPGaDAY2019. Although this may cause me to have less time to read and respond to other people’s posts; I already know I will have a busier August than the last few years.

I have a few tabletop and play-by-email (PBEM) games on the go, plus I have started my #Lynchcraftian PBEM game, so I’m pondering whether to focus my answers for this year on something more IC, maybe Flash Fiction fiction. Or should I go with something relating to the Street Fighter RPG, since I’ve spent a lot of time recently translating the Brazilian issues for Punho do Guerreiro, plus I am planning a SFRPG PBEM.

For more information, check out David F. Chapman’s blog, plus watch the video of Dave (Autocratik) and Anthony (Runeslinger) discussing this year’s event.

https://www.autocratik.com/2020/06/announcing-rpgaday2020.html

#RPGaDAY2020

1    Beginning

2    Change

3    Thread

4    Vision

5    Tribute

6    Forest

7    Couple

8    Shade

9    Light

10    Want

11    Stack

12    Message

13    Rest

14    Banner

15    Frame

16    Dramatic

17    Comfort

18    Meet

19    Tower

20    Investigate

21    Push

22    Rare

23    Edge

24    Humour

25    Lever

26    Strange

27    Flavour

28    Close

29    Ride

30    Portal

31    Experience

Warrior’s Fist 12 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG).

The last few issues have had some epic stuff, this issue maintains that level. I’ll start by mentioning the Mud Arena, it may sound straightforward, but this is a lot of mud; dirty and deadly! D&D Alignments is a complex topic, which sends many role-players off on epic rants at its mere mention, why on earth would we want Alignments in SFRPG… oh, this is quite a simple and nice adaption, adds flavour, not restrictions; definitely worth a read 😉

Rules for Traditional and Olympic Karate, sweet. More interesting strategy analysis with the School of Combos part 3. New options for Cyber characters. Rope Boost, what a fabulously simple, yet clever, maneuver, very thematic when tied with this issue’s examination of Professional Wrestling and how it fits into the Street Fighter universe.

All in all, an amazing issue 😀

Issue 12

Minor fixes have been made to prior Issues; here is a link to the folder. The whole folder can be downloaded as a Zip file 🙂

Warrior’s Fist 11 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG). More Merits & Flaws for SFRPG! Chain Combos. Rock Beach Arena and Circuit Legend: Nida. An useful article about the humanity of thugs, highlighting why even most thugs would be inclined to run away from a Street Fighter 😉 Plus the new Maneuver Flaming Hurricane Kick; Kentastic.

Another great issue by the Punho do Guerreiro team! 😀

Issue 11

Minor fixes have been made to prior Issues; here is a link to the folder.

Warrior’s Fist 10 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG). This issue tackles one of the big Storyteller system gaps for SFRPG: Merits & Flaws! An interesting look at how to make Social Attributes more important, Social Maneuvers. A look at Dodging Bullets. Using Vampire 5th kits making it quicker to choose Abilities for a particular Concept for SF. Plus the new Manuever Iron Body and Circuit Legend: Bankuu Toshiro.

Another great issue by the Punho do Guerreiro team 😀

Issue 10

Minor fixes have been made to prior Issues; here is a link to the folder.

Warrior’s Fist Special 3 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG). Issue 1 is here, plus an explanation of why I am doing this.

This issue builds upon issue 9’s suggestion for different SFRPG settings/eras, exploring Brazil’s colonial period. There is the adventure Bloody Colony, plus the Colonial Fighting Circuit. This issue’s new Maneuver is Mystical Aid. The Circuit Legend Zumbi of Palmares. Last but not least an examination of melee weapons and what could be done with the Berserk Attack! Thanks to the Punho do Guerreiro team for another interesting issue, full of ideas and educational; as always, an extra thanks to Eric “Musashi” Souza for his assistance with translations.

Special Issue 3

Warrior’s Fist 9 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG). Issue 1 is here, plus an explanation of why I am doing this.

This issue looks at Advanced Combat ideas, Battle Scars, Creating More Styles, Cybernetic Animal Companions, plus the new Maneuver Ice Clone (Sub Zero). An interesting Kabuki Town and Circuit Legend, that I cannot talk about 😉 well I guess that was a give away, so yes Fight Club in SFRPG. Last but not least, a look at different using the SFRPG to explore/play different Ages and World, highlighting what more can be done with this great game. Another great issue by the Punho do Guerreiro team 😀

Issue 9

Idea for a future SFRPG idea, Street Countdown. Spell and Fight!

First rule of Street Countdown. Is that you really must try and tell as many people as possible about it. It’s a rather fun game and the more people you tell about it the better.”

Warrior’s Fist 8 Street Fighter Translation

I’ve finished translating another issue of Punho do Guerreiro, a Brazilian fanzine for Street Fighter RPG (SFRPG). Issue 1 is here, plus an explanation of why I am doing this.

Following on from motor racing in issue 7, this issue includes more rules about driving. Fusing Mage: the Ascension with Street Fighter, this introduces a simple yet interesting way of handling True Magick. This issue adds a new Maneuver: Sense Magic. The tale of Snow and Blood. Ken Master’s Yacht in Kabuki Town. A dangerous Circuit Legend. A clarification about MMA, as well as the difference between a starting character and a fighter that is new to big fight organisations like the UFC.

As normal thanks to Punho do Guerreiro team for the original issue, plus Eric and Odmir also did some extra work for this translation 😃

Issue 8