At this point yes I’m not planning paying the players for their contributions. That may change but the original intent is that this was going to be a ‘game show’. The players were going to win money and prizes is the thought behind the show. For example if I get enough money I’ll offer $10,000 prizes to the winning playing groups. This is set for the group to get the $10,000 reward because then the players won’t individually backstab each other, they should not conflict with each other, they won’t cause issues during play with each other over the final money reward/result because I don’t want that.
I realize this could be a real boost/help for professional gaming groups and organizations,there’s thousands of little organizations that could do with a $10,000 reward for their little organization putting on a show. Also this might work as an alternative to Kickstarter, Paetreon, etc.. It could be used to help certain business expenses as well as help raise awareness of their organization/group and split the money however they want to among the five players
Sadly currently I don’t have those resources and it is understandable that players may not be able to available for this to compete this way without some sort of reasonable compensation. so the difference is not feed between winning a show or a filming sessions may have multiple having a single 30-minute episode in which they win a $10,000 prize
Pretty sure somebody will ask why a $10,000 prize for the tournament winner? Because that’s what Chopped does and it’s enough to make a large difference to a little organization but it’s not so much that it is a huge tax problem and yet doing things without something in common with the original ideas. At this point so it’s essentially what we’re looking for is the right Benchmark, just using these numbers as starting points then seeing what the feedback is like. Theoretically I could just have four groups in pseudo competition each walk away with $2500.
I do want to compensate because I’m going to be profiting off of the participants imagination, insight and font of wisdom that most don’t even know they have. Even if it only takes eight hours to get through a session including all the talks. photoshoot etc… that is still valuable time to be spending away from loved ones especially as I write this on Christmas Day.
I have to make sure everybody is taken care of, because it won’t succeed without that concept if I don’t take care of the other people they won’t take care of me and I understand that.
I have more thoughts about the various types of skills I wish to focus on in Heroic Tourney. This particular post covers the basic concept of what a GM and a writer of the scenario should focus on to meet the needs of the players and the Show. This post is inspired by a comment by a game designer that they were willing to build for commissions but the pricing was variable dependent upon how difficult the writing assignment was. This led me to ask the question: How difficult is it to write for the needs of the Heroic Tourney Show?
Any scenario needs to meet the HT Show needs for being successfully shot. Thusly it must include not only breaking down the story into three to four sections (pretty much self contained arcs) each one which lasts about 2 hours or so (there is some leeway) while every player needs at least one opportunity (and preferably as many as possible, though see the time calculations below) to demonstrate their ability in each of the five categories. The judges should have the Player Character sheets for reference and probably a bullet point list of things to look for (which if I was using the classic module N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God I as head writer would have to build) for judging and feedback. Then the judges will probably need to have these in a separate packet as a way to make their jobs easier.
I think for my needs (as head writer/host) I should add in a requirement that the submission for pre-written scenarios requires notes as to how many arcs are intended. Using N1 for instance though means I probably need to have a discussion with the DM as to the arc breakdown. The example of Cult of the Reptile God would probably end up looking something like this: ([Intro/travel] Town exploration, [Travel] cult HQ, [Travel] dungeon, Boss encounter [denouement] ), or just agree to signals letting the DM know when to hustle players off to break before the next arc.
As a scenario designer I and everyone else will want a compelling story opportunity, for some game systems this can be either non-existent or understood (for example a straight Dungeon run has the understood story of “beat the dungeon”, while some systems require the players to determine the goals for the game as a sub game) in most cases though good or relevant hooks have to be there to help with maintaining the Judges and viewers interests as well.
There are Many ways to solve a problem.
Then the designer has to take and build in opportunities for each one of the five skills that those players should be looking for turning into an opportunity in that two hour session. Which if you have 5 players at 5 skills is 25 opportunities, While I do think some should be group presentation of opportunities allowing for quickest solutions many should be pretty individual though they can have multiple opportunities presented nearly simultaneously.
Then that 25 opportunities over 2 hours translates into one about every 4 minutes over the length of the filming opportunity for the skills to be shown, resolved and handled in that time frame. Keeping in mind that it may not all be seen on film because we’re only going to take the most Illustrative options for the final cut. Most of this probably won’t end up on film but they’re there because they may be things the GM or the judges should want to talk about to the players or they could increase their focus utility for the session. Still talking about one every 4-6 minutes. Unless we can combine multiple player results in the single opportunity that sort of cuts down on every other aspect of the game. Which is worrisome. In some ways this seems like a way to have clouds of clues flying above the players heads like a veritable belfry of bats in a problematic murder mystery.
While it’s okay to not solely focus as much on the story as in a home or convention experience it does need advance for that way lies better play and fun. Ideally giving optimal usage of the abilities is going to be key to having Heroic Tourney successfully show those abilities often if the opportunities can do double or triple duties of advance the plot as well as be entertaining. The opportunities for showing off abilities need to be not concealed but seamlessly integrated. Setting a high bar indeed.
Have to give the judges opportunity to examine many facets.
Having covered how difficult the bar is for a scenario, let’s talk about rewards for designing a solid scenario for Heroic Tourney. When it gets put on the show the designer gets the 250$ and Exposure, their name in lights and all the hoopla that comes with that!! The designer also gets to have and hold all the rights to the scenario, except where it conflicts with the show (the scenario writer, just like everyone else cannot be allowed to harm/hold up the show easily without just cause): publish it before, after, during the show. There is also the possibility for the scenario writer to be judging or refereeing on the same show for scooping up potential extra resources! Like more EXPOSURE (sarcasm) and possibly networking (and if working at a paying gig the $ that comes with that gig).
Why this instead of as the other big players in the industry do? Because I wish to focus upon the show, I’m not a publishing company, not here to make money off of anything other than the show because I need to keep that focus. Another part is because I am an artist, I understand exactly how dumb the exposure is as a selling element,I know why people do it, I know why they’re willing to get paid in exposure and why it’s offered but I understand the core level difficulty that results in the conflict of interests in a bad way.
People have to make a living too. So I’m aiming for about $25 bucks an hour; assuming a 10 hour day means about $250 bucks. That’s a living wage in Colorado so we’ve got three judges at $250 we’ve got a designer at $250 and a GM at $250 the reason why I’m spending more money than some GM’s to charge for like services is again long hours from a labor of love. A filming crew member runs about $200 for the day, possibly more.
I as a show producer, designer, creative elements author, and head writer as well as host I have an understanding of what needs to be done and that people need a living wage, yea verily this is a hobby, yes we have fun, but this is going to be work. There’s going to be times we sit down nose-to-the-grindstone in order to get stuff done. Also we’re showing participants intelligence, cognitive abilities, skills in adaptability and more, that should be rewarded.
So if anyone thinks this is a bum deal tell me so. If you can think of a reason for a better offer sing out. In the end though there will be people who can command more in appearance fees because they bring more to the table if you are one of those the go ahead: Bring It!
Explorations of the internet can be interesting. Especially when you are looking for various things through the lens of Heroic Tourney. Tumblr can be wonderful and terrible in parts so move with caution is a part of the game I suppose.
I did find someone who I think would likely fail the category of Style. Not because of a lack of but an apparent excess of drama. The reason why is there is sort of a triangle of skills, knowledge’s and talent that makes someone a 5 in Style and if they have those balanced in all five Skill categories they are a top notch player every category. I of course can be wrong.
Basically if you think of a triangle as sort of a hill then by building skills you climb the hill. Once someone gets to the top though they have to stay on it, rein back, display skills in maintaining a leadership position in that area and perhaps even acting a little as a king of the mountain. People can also go over the top and end up on the back side of the hill essentially dropping from a 5 to a 4 a 3 or less. The person I found seems to be more interested in taking drama too far than acting in their own best interest.
And before someone accuses me of being anti-drama, keep in mind Mythica can be flamboyant, dramatic and as over the top as anyone else. (heck I’d put a 20$ on her vs. Rupaul) She can also shut it off at a moments notice and get busy doing whatever needs to be done. Because for her it is a tool, not a core belief or lifestyle choice. Once she has tested and honed different skills and elements as a part of upgrading her Style she uses those elements as tools integrating those into her skill set. And like any tool she uses the right one when needed.
Sadly there is a kind of games both RPG and non- RPG I don’t like. They can be designed this way or modded to meet someones desires but the ones I primarily mention are designer built with this play style in mind.
They are Toon, Paranoia and Screw your Neighbor although there doesn’t seem to be much of a common unifying theme betwixt these, yet the basic concept is is essentially one and the same Even though Toon and Paranoia are RPG’s while Screw Your Neighbor is a Card game in the end the Players are basically going to harm their fellows at the table a la PVP (Player Vs Player).
Though not named there are other RPG games like when Benoist Poire waxed fervent over a Sabbat high stakes game (though a Camarilla game is not immune to this) and insisted that if I try it I would love it. Tried it before. Hated it before.
I have to admit i struggle with just the basic issue with putting these games into Heroic Tourney but I feel I have to solve this because it is a role people can take on. Even if I feel that they are more playing the anti-heroes than what we really want to be. Something akin to playing someone trying to avoid the forces of their own misdeeds Karma as both a mystical force and a non-mystical force which I call Newtonian Karma, for every (mis)deed there is an equal and opposite reaction.
People play this kind of game and I’m sure the people would enjoy it… so what does this mean talking specifically about speaking I also think that people can be good or bad at these games and especially if they only had a team each other in disorder environment so what we need to do is figure out how we’re going to provide the players with the ability to conflict with each other without giving him a free pass in a v a three-year one is 0 in in the store
Do we reward player A & B for working together to screw over player C? If player A kills player B you know what happens. Player B is usually out of the game for a least a little while (possibly only long enough to build a new character). and down time is something I don’t really enjoy. I am here to game.
Yet one of the five basic concepts of heroic tourney is teamwork so how does games in which you’re going to have player versus player conflict be resolved fairly for those who prefer and play those games, quite possibly even exclusively.
One of the basic philosophies that I need to work on how I’m going to allow those players to interact within the constructs of the game show! I mean that it’s a design feature of this style of play. It’s certainly is not a flaw or on accident if they’re playing like politics level 11 we still need to face the fact they enjoy it and incorporate that style of gameplay or else the entire show falls apart ethically for me.
Man, even building a Show about RPG’s is like a dungeon filled with traps.
Even in certain levels of ad&d there’s a point at which your fellow players have so much magical items and you know if they have something to covet you can turn around come up with a way to kill him or let him die or something and then it’s over with except for picking up the body and dividing up the dead guys loot.
However else I feel I also believe Betrayal is ultimately a human thing and something that must be covered by an RPG. These games found popularity and markets and may show off the best there is for their style and may have points for a well rounded RPGer to consider.
Ultimately the decision I have come to is that I am going to have to respect hierarchy. Translation: if a designer or DM assigns the Betrayal then good RP or role-playing equals betrayal. but keep in mind Judges, Players and GM’s if it is a “power move” (read jerk move) to try and win the game it will and should cost the player performing the action (and brought up for discussion), unless built into the game by the designer or the session by the GM.
things though Moving slowly have been at least moving a little bit. Here is the first design for the Heroic Tourney Judging and Reference sheet.
Basically an observer would fill out the sheet while a GM or Module builder would check off to make certain there were built in opportunities before and during play if need be.
Also could be useful if Someone needs a reminder or if I need to double check the results later on or while filming.
did the player make adjustments?
did the player improve?
Questions to consider asking During play
Roleplaying (play, Immersion)
Getting into and expressing being someone else both in thought and deed, action and reaction.
How rapidly did the player get into character? How effective was s/he in character? Did the other players interact with the player as the character name referencing his positions or titles so on so forth?
Minds Eye (Imagination and story support)
This is not only keeping track of things such as relative positions but comprehending the other characters and the GM’s creation.
Is a player treating theGM’s world and Creations as something to be valued and interacted with or more to be used up and tossed away?
Teamwork (group/party support and cooperation)
A top notch gamer can provide support no matter the position to both the GM and their fellow players.
Did the player support other people at risk or cost to himself? Did the player cooperate with others at risk or cost to himself?
Style (presentation and humor)
Different than needless drama other phrases include panache and delivery. Making the game more exciting by using dramatic skills as well as influencing fellow players.
Did the player while in character cause others to chuckle in character with something the character might say? did the player have the character try and do something dramatic that would move the story along as well as give more agency in power to the players?
Problem Solving (Resource Management)
Moreso than supply mastery, this incorporates tactical utility and puzzle solving.
This doesn’t just incorporate solo management of resources including hit points, items, single shot constructs etc… it also incorporates group use and suggesting advising other people although sometimes it could be gatekeeping if done poorly.
NOTES: Keep in mind when building a module for the TV show, Gming or Judging there will be a need to have three or four breaks depending upon how the set up is for filming. The Show design is also going to need for the GM to provide each character one opportunity at least at every single one of the five categories. That means for example each character is going to have to have five different shots. That could be NPC interactions that could be something off the character sheet perhaps called to attention by the GM There are other options for the items to be basically levers for the player characters as pull that they can have some (observable by the judges) success or failure in the five categories. Have questions for the Players and suggestions/ideas for positive interactions here:
This post is about releasing the Heroic Tourney raw footage for viewing in a standardized format, the plot is to talk about the viewing, view the footage (which it has been over 6 months at this point since last seen) and then talk for a few minutes about the after viewing feelings.
My notes (not necessarily reflected in the comments below) include:
Camera one is typically focused on the location James and Wendy sat at that day, raw footage includes things such as people blocking the camera and focusing elements.
We have the syncing clap and basic introduction of the participants.
Then we have Scott launching into his introduction and exposition for the the scenario as the team starts working on the mystery of the Alien attack. All of which you can see here!
And my After Action Review of the contents is here.
By the by my cousins name (sorry for blanking on that, guy! Blaming that on having a Swiss cheese ADD based memory and working two jobs) who did the camera work is Adrian Romero, and cameras/location provided by Spectrum Media!
A good thing too this is the video to start with, the first section from the second camera is… not as good of a starting choice from what I recall about it. Though it may be the next one released, Stay Tuned!!!