Do authors take a peek at current design-space when creating new games? Should they?

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Lessa

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Honestly, I think a big part of them don't. And it's a shame. Please, bear with me...

I've just finished reading the new Delta Green and my immediate feeling is that it's an awesome setting married to a very narrow playing scope that ultimately makes it a wasted opportunity. Long story short, the GM book is a 400 pg tome devoted mostly to - hear that - the past lore of the organizations and it's members, while the only actual play support is a dozen pages that basically boils down to "Hey GM, here are some tips for a monster of the week game". Wait, wut? A full fledge double-corebooks of 600pg with such a big developed history full of conspiracy and intrigue... for a monster of the week game? No support for long-term campaigns, no support for factional intrigue & conspiracy, etc?

And I couldn't stop thinking about how other games' tools available in the current design-space could improve that potential enormously: Night's Black Agent's Conspiramyd for making open-ended long-term campaigns viable, or Silent Legions tables for creating adventures/scenarios complications/cults/creatues/phenomena on the fly, or Conspiracy-X base/conspiracy/safehouse building with "pulling strings", etc. Even a PbtA "front" to bring the inter-factional play to the fore would do (EDIT: alas, The Labyrinth, a recent Delta Green expansion, is exactly that).

So, my question is: do authors look for what's out there when creating their games? Should they? Is a look at the design-space around you desireable? Also, are there specific demographies or subcultures that do this more than others? I have a suspicion that older games fanbases tend to be more insular and attached and thus more prone to ignore whats out there, while newer games fanbases are naturally more, "ecclectic". But it's just anecdote.
 
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Trippy

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Well, each to their own. While I felt that Delta Green was largely limited to the premise of playing professional characters from law enforcement or military backgrounds in the contemporary US, which is is a limitation, I felt the scope for play after that point is wide open. It’s not a monster of the week game in as much as there are competing conspirational groups in the Delta Green setting and a massive potential for mystery. It's actually a game that barely requires a ‘monster’ each week to make it work. Again, the proof is in the pudding, and you can see a wide range of very original scenarios that support the game. Long term play is very much set out in the game in terms of having affiliated groups to belong to and the gradual impact of declining sanity over the course of time.

Also, John Tynes’ The Labyrinth adds a number of other groups to the mix, which don’t hark back to the original edition at all. And if its a long term campaign your after, wait until you see what is coming with Impossible Landscapes.
 

Lessa

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It’s not a monster of the week game in as much as there are competing conspirational groups in the Delta Green setting and a massive potential for mystery
There's no conspirational interplay for the players to engage except if the GM brings it in his cenarios. By default, the players don't need to worry about anything else beyond "how to solve the GM scenario of the week". The only thread that links sessions together is the downtime psychological degradation, which is great, but again, has nothing to do with conspiracies.

EDIT: by the way, the downtime psychological mechanism is GREAT and exactly the kind of thing the game could benefit more to promote other aspects of it's premise (like, conspiracies, and long-term play).

Long term play is very much set out in the game in terms of having affiliated groups to belong to
If you mean long-term play as "a long string of monsters of the week scenarios" I agree. Otherwise, no, Delta Green do not support long term play. At least not in a fully fledged manner. Except, again, if you mean "THE GM CREATES A WHOLE CAMPAIGN BY ITSELF". By such metric, though, any game "supports" long-tem play.

I see you missed the topic main question. What do you think about it?
 
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TJS

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It sounds like this particular scenario is something you see a lot, where detailed setting information is suggested that strongly suggests a complex long term campagin but when you get beyond it to the nuts and bolts adventure hooks stuff it's exteremely banal and pedestrian and implementing all the really cool stuff is left completely up to the GM.

It's not necessarily that the hooks are how the game is meant to be played, it's more the disconnect between supplying hooks for an adventure when the settings as a whole are about playing a campaign.

Presumably in Delta Green you begin as monster of the week and it expands out from there (you've got to begin somewhere). Of course, its the "expands from there" part that GMs could probably use a hand with.
 

Trippy

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There's no conspirational interplay for the players to engage except if the GM brings it in his cenarios. By default, the players don't need to worry about anything else beyond "how to solve the GM scenario of the week". The only thread that links scenarios is the downtime psychological degradation, which is good, but again, has nothing to do with conspiracies.
There are two distinct conspiracies for player to join in with - one legal, one illegal. How can you say there isn’t any conspirational interplay? As I say, if you want new groups, akin to Majestic or Karotechia, then like I say, you should check out The Labyrinth.


If you mean long-term play as "a long string of monsters of the week scenarios" I agree. Otherwise, no, Delta Green do not support long term play. Except, again, if you mean "THE GM CREATES A WHOLE CAMPAIGN BY ITSELF". By such metric, though, any game "supports" long-tem play.

I see you missed the topic main question. What do you think about it?
I think there is ample advice for any Handler to devise their own long term campaigns in the book, and there is at least one long term campaign in the works. I disagree with the premise of your main topic point.
 

Lessa

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There are two distinct conspiracies for player to join in with - one legal, one illegal. How can you say there isn’t any conspirational interplay?
"Joining a conspiracy" is not the same as "playing a game of conspiracies". Otherwise how a group of players in, say, The Outlaws, can affect The Program or vice-versa? They can't act on it, they cant' collect intel on them, they can't manage a network of friendlies to spy on them as a case officer would, they can't say to the GM "Hey, this time we are investigating the Outlaws cell lead on our own".

Those are things expected in a conspiracy game. Delta Green doesn't provide nothing of the sort. All Delta Green provides is the GM bringing it's scenario of the week for players to chew. If some conspiracy action is in the GM menu, good, if not, just eat your meat and be grateful.
 
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Baulderstone

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I like Delta Green. I like Night's Black Armies. I like Silent Legions. I don't know why all these games need to be the same. They are all different, and all have elements that I find useful even when running completely different games. Having all three of those games wouldn't be nearly as useful if they designers were all emulating each other.
"Joining a conspiracy" is not the same as "playing a game of conspiracies". Otherwise how a group of players in, say, The Outlaws, can affect The Program or vice-versa? They can't act on it, they cant' collect intel on them, they can't manage a network of friendlies as a case officer would do to spy on them, they can't say to the GM "Hey, this time we are investigating the Outlaws cell lead on our own".
Having run Delta Green, I can't see any reason at all why players couldn't do any of those things.
 

Trippy

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"Joining a conspiracy" is not the same as "playing a game of conspiracies". Otherwise how a group of players in, say, The Outlaws, can affect The Program or vice-versa? They can't act on it, they cant' collect intel on them, they can't manage a network of friendlies as a case officer would do to spy on them, they can't say to the GM "Hey, this time we are investigating the Outlaws cell lead on our own".

Those are things expected in a conspiracy game. Delta Green doesn't provide nothing of the sort. All Delta Green provides is the GM bringing it's scenario of the week for players to chew.
Well, its a pretty good start!

Now that you are actually acknowledging that two opposing conspiracies exist in the game, and that interplay exists between the two, then next step is in acknowledging that a whole raft of NPCs involved in each conspiracy, all with their own resources and agendas, are detailed in the game too. The new edition has tried to move the game forward in the timeline that was largely based on Delta Green vs Majestic in the 1990s, detailing how Majestic fell and Delta Green was broken up. As I say, there are more groups detailed in supplements, but the basis of a long term conspiracy-based campaign is there, and advice is given in the book to support this.
 

Lessa

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Having run Delta Green, I can't see any reason at all why players couldn't do any of those things.
Neither do I. But I expect a 2-corebooks totalling 600 pg that sells itself as a conspiracy game (besides horror) would give me tools to do that besides "GM fiat". Specially so when the current hobby design-space contain lots of tools for that.
 

Trippy

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Neither do I. But I expect a 2-corebooks totalling 600 pg that sells itself as a conspiracy game (besides horror) would give me tools to do that besides "GM fiat". Specially so when the current hobby design-space contain lots of tools for that.
It does give you the tools. It details the organizations and individuals involved, while giving advice for long term campaigns.
 

Lessa

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Now that you are actually acknowledging that two opposing conspiracies exist in the game, then next step is in acknowledging that a whole raft of NPCs involved in each conspiracy, all with their own resources and agendas, are detailed in the game too.
As I said, factions with agendas is good and all. But methods for actually using those in the game in a way that allwos those agendas to flowrish and conflict with each other - and how the players can get entangled with that - is the least I would expect of a game about conspiracies. And Delta Green, again, doesn't provide that.
 

Lessa

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By the way, I suggest we carry the Delta Green specific discussion to it's thread.
 

Trippy

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As I said, factions with agendas is good and all. But methods for actually using those in the game in a way that allwos those agendas to flowrish and conflict with each other - and how the players can get entangled with that - is the least I would expect of a game about conspiracies. And Delta Green, again, doesn't provide that.
Each group details how they recruit and influence affairs, while the advice for building campaigns is given in its own section of the book. It also should be remembered that while the current personalities, histories and agendas of different groups and individuals are details in the Handlers book they are not for players eyes. As such, all of this remains a series of mysteries that you can introduce incrementally to the group. The game provides ample support for conspirational games.
 

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I think what silva is getting at is part of why I have never found conspiracy gaming to be something I can enjoy running. It's all fine and good to set up various factions, but without mechanics that support plotting out the faction's activities and mechanics for the players to engage in them (join them, confront them, discover them, help hide them, be caught up in them, etc.), the whole conspiracy theme falls apart.

I suspect some GMs are able to fake it well enough to make an interesting game. I know I can't...

So while my games MIGHT involve some "conspiracies" they will actually be pretty shallow and the game will really be about something else...
 

Lessa

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I think what silva is getting at is part of why I have never found conspiracy gaming to be something I can enjoy running. It's all fine and good to set up various factions, but without mechanics that support plotting out the faction's activities and mechanics for the players to engage in them (join them, confront them, discover them, help hide them, be caught up in them, etc.), the whole conspiracy theme falls apart.

I suspect some GMs are able to fake it well enough to make an interesting game. I know I can't...
Pretty much this! Thanks.
 

Trippy

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I think what silva is getting at is part of why I have never found conspiracy gaming to be something I can enjoy running. It's all fine and good to set up various factions, but without mechanics that support plotting out the faction's activities and mechanics for the players to engage in them (join them, confront them, discover them, help hide them, be caught up in them, etc.), the whole conspiracy theme falls apart.

I suspect some GMs are able to fake it well enough to make an interesting game. I know I can't...

So while my games MIGHT involve some "conspiracies" they will actually be pretty shallow and the game will really be about something else...
Well I disagree with that notion, which I did allude to on the other thread. I don’t think mechanics help build good conspiracy stories as much as having well drawn out characters and groups with well rounded (and conflicting) agendas. The Delta Green system is built upon the premise of physical and psychological realism, and is not a ‘story’ game in the whole GNS meta-game sense (again!). Instead, the mechanical game play is designed to be secondary to the quality of writing, the multiple scenarios written for it, and the overarching premise of the setting. That is why I like it, and if other people don’t I guess that is why there is more than one game on the store shelves to choose from.
 

Fenris-77

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Tools and mechanics aren't necessarily the same thing. I can think of a whole bunch of both that that would be quite helpful for running a conspiracy game, which is not the easiest thing to run, especially for the first time. I don't have any problem with the here's the lore, here's some mechanics, go nuts approach, but this also isn't my first rodeo. As a younger, less experienced GM I probably would have struggled. I don't see anything wrong with suggesting that the book should have more tools in it for running the kind of game it's indexed to run.
 

Trippy

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Tools and mechanics aren't necessarily the same thing. I can think of a whole bunch of both that that would be quite helpful for running a conspiracy game, which is not the easiest thing to run, especially for the first time. I don't have any problem with the here's the lore, here's some mechanics, go nuts approach, but this also isn't my first rodeo. As a younger, less experienced GM I probably would have struggled. I don't see anything wrong with suggesting that the book should have more tools in it for running the kind of game it's indexed to run.
Well, this again takes the premise that the writers of Delta Green haven’t given any tools towards designing conspiracy campaigns. It does, however. I mean it actually does give advice for running campaigns and operations.

I mean you could argue for more, but then you’d also have to suggest what material has to get left out instead in order to make more space for this. For me, personally, what is more useful for building long term campaigns is having lots of background material which incorporates plot hooks and inspiration for potential intrigue. Beyond this, I just want a series of well done scenarios that can be pieced together into a long term campaign - which is what the game provides in support.

I’ve no doubt there is probably a market for an Apocalypse World style book for running a modern conspiracy game, full of discussion about how to build a campaign but leaving only space for an implied setting rather than setting detail, but if that was how Delta Green ended up being written it would lose all interest for me. Delta Green is about the quality of the setting, the quality of writing and all the details that entails.
 
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TJS

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I've played in lots of games where the GM bought the book and was excited to run but where the cool stuff never arrived.

I played a hordelands forgotten realms game where the GM didn't really know how to manage to incentivise us to travel the vast distances of the central asian inspired setting (I read the boxed set recently as research for my Silk Road game - it's not bad in a lot of ways, but it's terrible at helping to set up a campaign.).

I played a Fading Suns game which was basically just a traveller game of going from port to port, whatever interesting stuff was going on in the setting the GM didn't know how to actualise.

I remember running a Sla Industries game in the late 90s and not really knowing what to do with it.

I ran Symbaroum successfully, but that was mostly working around the core treasure hunting ruins in the forest activity that the game places at the core of its setting but then is untterly uninteressted in actualising.

I find this a bit of a perennial issue with many games. It's a bit irritating to have a setting and then have to break it down myself, work out what the main conflicts are and how to structure a game in such a way that the players actually get to experience the cool stuff in the setting. It would nice to see more game designers actually do some of this work themselves.

Note: None of this is a comment on Delta Green, which I haven't read but did play once (another game that never 'arrived')

Edit: I'll also point out that this thread is doing that thing again when everyone argues about the example rather than the point.
 
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Fenris-77

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Well, this again takes the premise that the writers of Delta Green haven’t given any tools towards designing conspiracy campaigns. It does, however. I mean you could argue for more, but then you’d also have to suggest what material has to get left out instead in order to make more space for this. For me, personally, what is more useful for building long term campaigns is having lots of background material which incorporates plot hooks and inspiration for potential intrigue. Beyond this, I just want a series of well done scenarios that can be pieced together into a long term campaign - which is what the game provides in support.

I’ve no doubt there is probably a market for Apocalypse World style books, full of discussion about how to build a campaign but leaving only an implied setting rather than setting detail, but if that was how Delta Green ended up being written it would lose all interest for me. Delta Green is about the quality of the setting, the quality of writing and all the details that entails.
Wow. Nice strawman there Trippy. No one said anything about AW, or campaign building basics. A well-written background is great, but it's not a campaign by itself. We also weren't talking about what you want. You seem quite happy with it as-is, which is cool. So if you wanted to address what I'm actually talking about feel free, or not, whatever props your tent.
 

Trippy

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Wow. Nice strawman there Trippy. No one said anything about AW, or campaign building basics. A well-written background is great, but it's not a campaign by itself. We also weren't talking about what you want. You seem quite happy with it as-is, which is cool. So if you wanted to address what I'm actually talking about feel free, or not, whatever props your tent.
It is hardly a strawman. It is an example of an alternative approach to game writing, which is basically what we are talking about.

I mean the Delta Green game already consists of a 194 page book of rules (The Agent’s Handbook) and then a 370 book of setting material, advice and a starter scenario. If you are lucky it comes in a nice slipcase, which was a late change because the original idea was a 500+ page book, which they thankful moved away from. In any case, it’s a packed product. The question is, if you wanted more information beyond what is already there for designing long term campaigns, then what would you have to cut instead?

If you find Apocalypse World too emotive an example, then here is one closer to home: Unknown Armies 3rd edition. In that book, which is split into three core books - Play (which is nominally a game for players), Run (for GMs) and Reveal (an A-Z for weird ideas), there is a lot of time that the writer spends on how to mechanically build a scenario and campaign, particularly in Book 2: Run. But by doing so, they had to cut out any introductory scenario and there was a whole load of material that they ended up putting into supporting PDFs that couldn’t be fitted in. For me, personally, I find this entirely off-putting - because as in the previous editions of UA, what I am after is some interesting background material - backed up by great scenarios - and a simple, unobtrusive system rather than copious advice about how to run things. Incidentally, I also find the Unknown Armies ‘Campaign Starter Kits’ uninspiring to me as well - none of them are set ups I want to play, and they aren’t very adaptable. There isn’t much like the excellent One Shots supplement for short, evocative scenarios - which again, was a great selling point for me on the original game. I’ve even managed to use those scenarios for other games, because they are so easy to pick up and play.

It may be horses for courses, but the actual appeal for me in Delta Green is precisely because it is formatted in the way it is. Concise and tight rule set, lots of well written background and group details, and a big selection of scenarios and campaigns to run with.
 
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Lessa

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So, I think these days authors cross-polinate more than ever. I feel that people is more open-minded about trying and using new stuff, in a way that a decade or so ago wasn't really the case. Free League games is a good example, I think, of this: their games are spread among lots of genres and use lots of mechanical concepts from old school and modern school and everything between (the upcoming Twilight 2000 may become the epitome of this). Don't know if social media and YouTube and celebs contributed to this, probably so. Seeing famous people playing and taking about a game you previously disliked sometimes makes you want to take another look at it. I guess. But I'm sure there are other factors.
 

Fenris-77

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No, its not basically what we're talking about. I was talking about specific tools to help run a conspiracy game, which has its own thing going on compared to a lot of other types of campaigns.

And again, I get that you like it. And again, that's not we're talking about. Its great that you like it, but not the subject at hand.
 

Trippy

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So, I think these days authors cross-polinate more than ever. I feel that people is more open-minded about trying and using new stuff, in a way that a decade or so ago wasn't really the case. Free League games is a good example, I think, of this: their games are spread among lots of genres and use lots of mechanical concepts from old school and modern school and everything between (the upcoming Twilight 2000 may become the epitome of this). Don't know if social media and YouTube and celebs contributed to this, probably so. Seeing famous people playing and taking about a game you previously disliked sometimes makes you want to take another look at it. I guess. But I'm sure there are other factors.
Well, I agree with that, and think one of the main reasons for this is that game writers have spent less time identifying themselves as being part of particular movements, and more time just focussing on the individual game they are making. And I agree this is a good thing. But there is still a factor of horses for courses - I mean, I like Fria Ligan games also because the manner the system is presented is pretty unobtrusive.

When you play Mutant: Year Zero, you have a handful of details to make up a character, then you unfold a map, draws cards as you move around it and away you go. There isn’t a whole bunch of mechanics or campaign building ideas to assimilate and work through - the campaign is just pick up and play.
 
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Trippy

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No, its not basically what we're talking about. I was talking about specific tools to help run a conspiracy game, which has its own thing going on compared to a lot of other types of campaigns.

And again, I get that you like it. And again, that's not we're talking about. Its great that you like it, but not the subject at hand.
No, you don’t get it. If you did, you’d respond to the points being debated rather than taking a hand in ad hominem.

The point being raised, is that the quality of the Delta Green game to me, is that those aspects of game design - such as mechanical or expanded discussions on campaign design - are not emphasized over quality of writing for setting material or scenarios. To me, this is a quality of the game - because in other games, the other aspects are frequently cut out to make way for them.
 
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Baulderstone

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Edit: I'll also point out that this thread is doing that thing again when everyone argues about the example rather than the point.
If you aren't discussing specific examples, you just get another "theory" discussion rather than anything that matters for gaming.
 

ffilz

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Well I disagree with that notion, which I did allude to on the other thread. I don’t think mechanics help build good conspiracy stories as much as having well drawn out characters and groups with well rounded (and conflicting) agendas. The Delta Green system is built upon the premise of physical and psychological realism, and is not a ‘story’ game in the whole GNS meta-game sense (again!). Instead, the mechanical game play is designed to be secondary to the quality of writing, the multiple scenarios written for it, and the overarching premise of the setting. That is why I like it, and if other people don’t I guess that is why there is more than one game on the store shelves to choose from.
But a conspiracy can't be static, so there has to be some mechanics (and procedures can be mechanics) to keep the conspiracy in motion. I haven't seen any such mechanics or procedures. Some GMs may be able to keep enough of that in their head and keep the situation dynamic enough to make an interesting game (and maybe you're one of them). I can't. So without something in the game besides a stack of NPCs, I can't successfully run a good conspiracy.

And honestly, the poor excuses for conspiracies that I'm running in my two Traveller campaigns are starting to fall apart and those games will probably not last much longer. That's part of what ends up being appealing to me about "D&D fantasy" or at least D&D as I started playing it. The GM sets up a "dungeon" (whether writing it up himself or pulling one off the shelf) and the players go at it. The GM responds to the crazy things the players try and everyone has fun. Any time I've seriously diverged from such a setup, the game has ultimately collapsed, or worse, not even got out of the starting gate.
 

Fenris-77

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No, you don’t get it. If you did, you’d respond to the points being debated rather than taking a hand in ad hominem.

The point being raised, is that the quality of the Delta Green game to me, is that those aspects of game design - such as mechanical or expanded discussions on campaign design - are not emphasized over quality of writing for setting material or scenarios. To me, this is a quality of the game - because in other games, the other aspects are frequently cut out to make way for them.
No, actually I do get it, I just don't care why you like the game, at least not in the context of a thread about the perceived lack of something identified by someone else. I went out of my way, twice, to emphasize that I am not hacking on why you like the game, so you can put that ad hominem shit back in your pocket too. The thread isn't actually about why you like the game, its about something someone else found lacking. Deal with it.
 

Trippy

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No, actually I do get it, I just don't care why you like the game,
Then you don’t get it, again. You are not addressing the points, you are attacking the man - ad hominem. You haven’t actually contributed anything to this thread beyond this. Now you are being called out on it, so deal with it yourself.
 
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K_Peterson

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Should they?
I think that game designers should produce the game that they want to produce, based upon their own influences - whether that reflects older or newer game design concepts. I don't think they need to look at "current design space" if that's not going to reflect in the game they produce. They should produce what inspires them, mechanically. If there's a market for their product, it sells well, and gets played it doesn't really matter.
Is a look at the design-space around you desirable?
If it's of value to the game designer, then sure. But, if we're talking "design-space" as meaning only "current design space" in this case, then it might not be desirable or important.

Personally-speaking, as just a gamer, "current design space" is not important to me. Game system mechanics, as a whole, are not the most important thing in Rpging, for me. I know what I like; I know what fits and doesn't fit my play style; I'm not after the next evolution in game mechanics. (Frankly, I find the nonstop obsession with game mechanics among gamers - old school and new school - to be a little weird). But that's just my perspective and I'm not likely to ever design an Rpg.
 

Trippy

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But a conspiracy can't be static, so there has to be some mechanics (and procedures can be mechanics) to keep the conspiracy in motion. I haven't seen any such mechanics or procedures. Some GMs may be able to keep enough of that in their head and keep the situation dynamic enough to make an interesting game (and maybe you're one of them). I can't. So without something in the game besides a stack of NPCs, I can't successfully run a good conspiracy.

And honestly, the poor excuses for conspiracies that I'm running in my two Traveller campaigns are starting to fall apart and those games will probably not last much longer. That's part of what ends up being appealing to me about "D&D fantasy" or at least D&D as I started playing it. The GM sets up a "dungeon" (whether writing it up himself or pulling one off the shelf) and the players go at it. The GM responds to the crazy things the players try and everyone has fun. Any time I've seriously diverged from such a setup, the game has ultimately collapsed, or worse, not even got out of the starting gate.
What do you mean by 'mechanics'?

The procedures in the book, carried out by agents when they go about an investigation are detailed when they discuss Operations. There are a couple of photocopiable sheets in the back of the book, for the GM and players to go about investigating. In the Agents’ book, also, there is detail about Tradecraft - basically how to investigate.

Of course, conspiracies aren’t static, but they are driven by having different groups and individuals having different agendas that come into conflict with each other. This is what Delta Green is particularly good at, and its the fun of the game to play out these agendas as the players interact with them.
 

ffilz

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What do you mean by 'mechanics'?

The procedures in the book, carried out by agents when they go about an investigation are detailed when they discuss Operations. There are a couple of photocopiable sheets in the back of the book, for the GM and players to go about investigating. In the Agents’ book, also, there is detail about Tradecraft - basically how to investigate.

Of course, conspiracies aren’t static, but they are driven by having different groups and individuals having different agendas that come into conflict with each other. This is what Delta Green is particularly good at, and its the fun of the game to play out these agendas as the players interact with them.
Does Delta Green have any mechanics or procedures to help the GM keep the different NPCs in motion relative to each other?
 

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Does Delta Green have any mechanics or procedures to help the GM keep the different NPCs in motion relative to each other?
Again, I am not sure what you mean by mechanics - I mean the game isn’t set up like Fiasco, say (although you could use Fiasco, as an aside, if that would be an assistance to scenario design and you wanted to run something more like a black comedy).

In terms of procedures, the outline for campaign design is covered by the procedures outlined for the particular factions and then discussed again in terms of how you bring it together towards the final chapter. For example, if you are going to have your group all be part of The Program, then it details recruitment techniques that they may bring the PCs into fold, and the various tasks you be getting involved and organization about how your cell would be built. It's pretty well structured, with clear guidelines in it - and the various NPCs you’d be interacting with all have clearly written backgrounds and motivations.
 

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Then you don’t get it, again. You are not addressing the points, you are attacking the man - ad hominem. You haven’t actually contributed anything to this thread beyond this. Now you are being called out on, so deal with it yourself.
You're precious. Did you not dimiss, out of hand, the notion that mechanics might be a useful tool for this kind if game? Like your opinion of that is somehow the last word? Thats a little presumptous, don't you think? Its almost like youre dismissing the OPs entire issue. Wacky!

In the case of DG, I would have been looking more for tools rather than additional mechanics. Not that you asked before playing the story game card. Your answer is that there are lots of good scenarios. Im sure that's true too, I dont doubt you, but what about people who want to run their own games, not packaged modules? Like the OP!

Organizers for plot and character connections, advice on nested plots, a primer on node based design, maybe some mechanics about computer use and information gathering. That's just off the top of my head. All very useful for investigation campaigns.
 

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You're precious. Did you not dimiss, out of hand, the notion that mechanics might be a useful tool for this kind if game? Like your opinion of that is somehow the last word? Thats a little presumptous, don't you think? Its almost like youre dismissing the OPs entire issue. Wacky!

In the case of DG, I would have been looking more for tools rather than additional mechanics. Not that you asked before playing the story game card. Your answer is that there are lots of good scenarios. Im sure that's true too, I dont doubt you, but what about people who want to run their own games, not packaged modules? Like the OP!

Organizers for plot and character connections, advice on nested plots, a primer on node based design, maybe some mechanics about computer use and information gathering. That's just off the top of my head. All very useful for investigation campaigns.
And you’re still exclusively engaging in ad hominem.

As repeated from before, it is a design feature that the game’s mechanics and campaign building advise are concise.
 

ffilz

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A procedure is a kind of mechanic. Mechanics are not just "roll 1d100 <= skill" or "roll 1d20 add BAB and compare to AC".
 

ffilz

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That said, all you have mentioned is procedures with how the PCs engage the factions. But how does the GM determine what is going on behind the scenes? A conspiracy implies things are going on that aren't seen, but they need to be a consistent whole in order for the PC investigation to start collecting clues to break the conspiracy. That's the stuff I have never seen any support for.
 

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That said, all you have mentioned is procedures with how the PCs engage the factions. But how does the GM determine what is going on behind the scenes? A conspiracy implies things are going on that aren't seen, but they need to be a consistent whole in order for the PC investigation to start collecting clues to break the conspiracy. That's the stuff I have never seen any support for.
Well, there is the last chapter - The Opera - that details how you put together things for campaigns and then specific operations with planning sheets included in the book. So in short, the answer is that the GM or Handler will review the information in the book about individuals and their motivations and then plan out operations where the agendas will be played out. In the case of specific scenarios, they are usually presented with some sort of mission overview and then an exposition for the GM as to what is happening behind the scenes.
 

Fenris-77

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And you’re still exclusively engaging in ad hominem.
Am I? Or am I defending myself against specious accusations from someone who didn't understand the intial issue, has admitted he has no clue what mechanics might be helpful, and seems more interested in drama than in talking about design tools for conspiracy games, and whether or not they would have been a helpful addition to DG.

I just provided a list of exactly the sorts of things that would be helpful in writing your own material for a game like DG.
 
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