Saturday, May 4, 2013

Readers' Requests: GM playstyles - Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, and M. A. R. Barker

From the Tekumel Project, from artwork by Prof. Barker.
I have photos of the damsel in distress in her college days.
From time to time I get asked what playing with The Big Three was like; it's very hard to explain in words, so I'd like to offer these three video clips from YouTube as a way of showing what I thought that their games were like.

First off, Dave Arneson; utter chaos, lots of laughs, zany characters, and a surprise ending:

Secondly, Gary Gygax; also lots of laughs, wacky characters, a surprise ending, but more structure to the game session:

Finally, M. A. R. Barker; strong plot lines, strong characters with a lot of motivation, lots of 'off-scene' plots and politics, and a hefty dose of swashbuckling action involving a cast of thousands:

 Please have a look, and think about how you run your games.

Interestingly, I've also been asked what playing in my games is like. That, I think depends on what kind of game scenario I'm running. If I may, I'd like to use the same kind of video clips as illustrations for you to ponder.

Role playing games - "Action! Adventure! Romance!":

"Kaor, my Princess! Helium, now and forever!!!" -Robert A. Heinlien, The Number of the Beast

'Skirmish' games / 'Braunstein'-style games:

"Chirine, you're the perfect hussar." -James Moffat, Vice-president of Sales, Adventure Games

Large 'wargames' of the 'old school' variety:

"Chirine does the most clever little miniatures!" -Prof. M. A. R. Barker, no slouch at the genre himself

Thanks for your time, and your thoughts and comments are always welcome here at The Workbench!

1 comment:

  1. It's a great idea giving people an idea of the founders' GM styles by connecting to classic movies!