Survival of the Coolest

Posted: 26 March 2014 in Reflections

Still driving when I should be gaming; but it gives me time to think. This week’s thought – yes, sadly they really are that infrequent at the moment – is that the less setting there is, the better I get on with a game. My focus is on rules, characters and adventures; for me, the setting is only a stage on which the other items interact, and as the campaign progresses, it increasingly becomes a constraint on what can be done next.

This is probably why I get on so well with All Things Zombie; it has no setting to speak of, plus it’s credible for the zeds to move and attack on autopilot, making it perfect for solo gaming.

It also explains the attraction of the Savage Worlds Sci Fi Companion version of hyperdrive; any planet you like can be in the game one week, written out the next, and back again the week after that.

One could use this as an evolutionary approach to setting creation; worlds, factions, NPCs or whatever are created, and compete against each other for the players’ attention. Those which gain it thrive, and reappear in future sessions. Those which do not disappear back into the filing cabinet, and eventually the wastepaper bin.

I like the idea of the campaign being made up of whatever components are fun and memorable enough not to need writing down. The things that stay in the campaign are the ones at least one player remembers, and if he or she remembers a better version than we actually used last session, that is a Good Thing.

Survival of the coolest.

  1. amalric7 says:

    Hello. As a gamer of 35+ years, and an avid reader of White Dwarf back in the day, I remember the name Andy Slack very well. Apologies for intruding upon your current post, but I just randomly found this blog (and much to my surprise). My point – I bought a CT box set on ebay a few years back. It’s the three LBB in the original box – all marked “Andy Slack” or “A R Slack” with embossed markings in the paper of the inside pages. And an address in Basingstoke. Are these really yours? I was shocked to see the name when my purchase was delivered!

    • andyslack says:

      Yep, those were mine; I moved house, and while packing I decided I only really needed one set in hardcopy. Enjoy! 🙂

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