Sunday, February 28, 2016

What's a Game Like?

[Another Red Eft excerpt, this one from the players handbook providing a general overview of a typical gaming session]

Your experiences may vary depending on who you game with but here is the jist of it. Characters are created outside of the game and occasionally discussed online. Time is always short so the more you can do away from the game table the better your experience will be. Characters are designed using something called an Advancement Sheet and played with using a Character Sheet. Only the Character Sheet is used during a game but it doesn't hurt to bring your advancement sheets along.

Usually the game master decides where and when the game will take place and circulates a one page start to the adventure called an Adventure Scenario. Once again, it is best to read the scenario over before the game begins.

The Game Begins. Everybody gathers around a table with the game master sitting at the head of it. The GM may refresh your memory of the scenario or the last game you played. A mojo roll is made to determine how many coins each player starts with.

And we dive right in.

The Red EFT specializes in what is known as Omniscient or third person role playing. You don't actually play your character so much as control it. You call the shots for your character. You speak on your character's behalf. No one will get mad at you if you become your character and start talking as if you are that character, but don't feel as if you have to do this the whole time. With omniscient gaming you are not roped into playing just one character. Depending on the size of your group you can run multiple characters simultaneously, swap characters with your friends, or even push one character out of the picture and bring in a new one to take its place.

During the game we mostly remain ourselves, we use our natural born names and talk of our characters in the third person as if they were in the room with us. If Zitto is one of your characters you might say something along the lines of, "Zitto hides behind the overturned table and casts an illusion on the wall, an illusion of him opening a door and running through it, hoping to get the castle guards to slam into it after him."

The Dice Are Rolled. Most of the time you tell the GM what your characters are doing and the GM will tell you how it all pans out. If the action seems a bit challenging, such as Zitto's spell cast, then the dice are rolled. Generally speaking you want to roll as high a number as you can. Rolling a 3 or less is failure and not a good thing. With Zitto's spell cast he rolls a 6 which is a normal success. The GM sees this and replies, "The guards are fooled by your illusion. The captain shouts Get 'Em! And they charge into the stone wall, bowling themselves over backwards in a loud raucous clatter of platemail. The first two guards have been knocked out cold and the rest are now stumbling to get up."

To this you might say, "Yeah! Zitto pumps his little piglet fist in the air and bolts down the hall."

And the Adventure Continues. It moves on like this until the game runs out of time. Typically a gaming session lasts one to three hours. If you have to leave before the game ends hand your character sheets off to other players for them to run so the group doesn't have to deal with the sudden disappearance of your characters.

When the game actually ends all character sheets go back to the GM who will hold onto them until the next time the group meets. This is done so the group can pick up where they last left off and not have to worry if one player or another cannot attend. Always hold onto your Advancement Sheets. Ultimately these tell us who belongs to whom. While the game is running – however – all characters and their sheets belong to the adventure itself until it is over.

Very rare is the adventure that only lasts one session. These are called One-Shots and can be a lot of fun, but most adventures will carry on over multiple gaming sessions before some kind of end is reached. When the same characters are used with multiple adventures this is called a Campaign and campaigns can last for years - if you're lucky.