Home Forums General Tabletop RPG’s Tabletop RPG AARs – Style

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    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    If you were interested in a certain RPG, are descriptions of play helpful?  And if so, are they better focused on mechanics (i.e. with dice rolls, initiative sequences, modifiers and so on explained to show how the various game sub-systems work) or on the story telling (i.e. quasi-fictional form, so concentrating on the ‘mood’ of a game or scenario)?

    Avatar photoMike

    Story based AARs are more entertaining.

    A breakdown of game play is more useful if deciding to buy the rules or not.

    I often play rules meant for setting X in setting Y.

    Avatar photoMike

    Something in mind?

    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Just thinking about how best to write playthroughs of the RPGs have done to accompany reviews.  In the past I have been posting them more as “memos to self” from my game notes, which is fine I guess, but it occurred to me that with a bit more work I could do something more useful and/or entertaining for the community.

    Avatar photoKitfox

    Perhaps going for a narrative style with footnotes or interjections to explain GMing  decisions, points where the players did something unexpected or especially unlucky rolls?

    Death to all fanatics!

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Similiar to Kitfox, what I remember liking was a story narration with little notes on how mechanics affected certain events/actions or some spiffy mechanics that made the story stand out.

    Avatar photoMike Headden

    I too like narrative RPG AARs with a little explanation of significant rules or rolls.

    I started out my “Destiny’s Child” series with lots of explanation of rules but gradually went over to a more narrative approach as I progressed, with some explanation at the end of the narrative of significant rolls or mechanisms that the plot line reflected.

    I assumed anyone interested would read the earlier postings, get a feel for how the game played and not need so much explanation.

    I guess I basically wrote what I’d want to read.

    One of these days life will become less “interesting” and I will get back to the crew and their adventures!

    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    Avatar photoGeneral Slade

    I’m actually always interested in hearing about the mechanics and find it a bit frustrating when the AAR just provides a narrative without reflecting on how the rules determined the outcomes.

    Avatar photoPaint it Pink

    I guess I basically wrote what I’d want to read.

    You have seen the way. Welcome to the world of writing stories. 🙂

    One is good, more is better

    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Great points all, many thanks.


    Mechanics examples are more important than story, i mostly read AARs to get an idea about rules I have never played.   Do not do a Rimmer: “He rolled a 4 and I rolled a 5, thenI rolled a 6 to his 5 and finally took Kamchatka”.  Our game stories are just as boring as his for the most part, really I just want good pics of figures and terrain and an idea of what makes the rules mechanics  different/exciting/weak.

    I have noticed that getting any sort of preview of game mechanics is rather difficult lately.  Even the game publishers are more interested in sizzle.

    Mick Hayman
    Margate and New Orleans

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