Monday, September 27, 2010

"I really want to game that show!"

I've found that after I see a film, or a TV show that I find cool, I immediately want to game that show.

Now, those who have been around have heard of licenced settings, and probably have already experienced the problems with those. I have been thinking along those lines again after having seen a couple of episodes of a show called Leverage. Let me think out loud for a moment, and maybe I have something new to say.

To begin with, let's talk about Leverage for a moment.

In Leverage we have, just like the good old Mission Impossible, a setup where somebody have been harmed by a bad guy and the Leverage team agrees to help them out. Then there's the briefing when we get to hear about the bad guy and how he can be approached. Roles get distributed amongst the experts in the team and they get rolling.

Now. Try to imagine that happening at a game table.

In order to make that work, you'd have to have players capable of from an outline of a villains personality concoct a plan to fleece him of his ill gotten gain. Likely? No.

Sure, if you have a team that must include someone who hacks computers, one who's a master at close combat and one actor it means that the plan will use those skills. Apart from that, sewing together a plan and then pull it off is another matter entirely.

This brings me to the problem with gaming a film or a tv show. You can probably never get it to flow that smoothly unless you have very capable players and have some Director behind the GM screen. So much of that which happens roll along fairly narrow paths. The amount of information available must be just right, and everyone must act in the most logical way. All the time.

If there's a way to make this happen by rules, social contact or something else then I far so far not seen it. I guess I will keep watching films and tv shows and dream of those moments of perfect drama and suspense.

5 comments:

  1. I think the real problem is most of the interest and tension (at least in M:I) is not in seeing whether they can carry out the plan, but in learning what the plan really is. M:I relies pretty heavily on faking out the audience, so apparent reversals and problems turn out to be all part of the plan. You almost never see them genuinely fail at some step along the way and have to adjust what they're doing.

    That means that if you're trying to RP it, all the interesting stuff comes in the part of it they never show: coming up with the plan in the first place and precisely (sometimes uncannily) predicting the reactions of the adversaries. You could fake it by giving the players a lot of narrative control to make things come out right, but it wouldn't feel like RPing Phelps & the crew...it would feel like RPing the M:I writers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't tell if you know this but there is an RPG based on leverage. Or at least there will be. They have a quickstart over at RpgNow. You can find it here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=79384

    ReplyDelete
  3. I must agree with Joshua on this note that the real problem is most of the interest and tension.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally forgot to mention that one reason for this post was that I heard that there would be a game based on Leverage. Thanks for mentioning it, Narmer!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think you're all spot on. It's very hard to game what we see in the show, since it's not what makes it good. Interesting problem, that is.

    ReplyDelete

Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Andreas Davour. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.