Geek Girls Rule! #194 – Plotting a Game

I hate GMs like this.

So, I posted my ideas for AmberconNW games for next year, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the idea of the Victorian Monster hunters game.  Now, how I usually prepare for games is I make about half a page of notes that includes three or four high points I’d like them to hit, but having had a lot of experience, I know that the more carefully I prep, the more sad I’m going to be when they wreck my plot.  Because I refuse to be a railroading GM.

However, what I do need to do is research asylums in the Victorian era in both the UK and US.  I need to compile a huge list of things I can throw at them.  I need maps of both the US and UK, with asylums highlighted.   I’ll need to clarify what the terms used for various mental illnesses were at that time. (Oh,no! Not Research!)

I’m actually contemplating cosplaying to GM this.  Because I need a reason to buy a lace, high necked Victorian blouse.  Skirts are not a problem.

I’m wondering how intense I should get while running it.  I’m contemplating being just incredibly cold, and indifferent to their survival.  “Why would I care whether or not you survive?  There are dozens of you in asylums all over this country.”  The only thing I’m concerned about is my tendency to giggle when things get too intense.  Yes, that’s me, the girl who giggles at funerals.  Not because I’m a heartless bitch, but because my response to stress is uncontrollable giggles.  It kind of sucks.  And yes, you could definitely tell how difficult a final exam was by how hard I giggled.  I’m a terrible poker player.

So, for character gen, I’m thinking:
1.  Name, gender, socio-economic class (this is what happens when history majors run games)
2.  Family?
3.  Are you religious?  Which religion?
4.  Why are you in the asylum?
5.  Ethnic Background
6.  Where were you born?
7.  What are you good at?
8.  What really scares you, deep in your bones, screaming hysteria, scares you?

These extended questions are for one-off play.  I think I can halve those for a campaign and discover them more gradually.  I’m thinking of running this as a campaign, because the nice thing is if someone misses a game, obviously they were recaptured, and the next session will begin with springing them again.

But with a convention one-off, say at AmberconNW, I think I’ll handle that in emails ahead of time with the players, and if I miss one, we can start with springing someone who was late with chargen, because that happens.  She says, shamefaced and still embarassed about flaking on Jen at this year’s Ambercon.

Ok, I think that’s about it.  I have somethings to research and think on, and work out for next year.  And shopping to do, because really… Who doesn’t need a high-necked lace Victorian blouse?

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