2011-08-22 Badges

I really like Stuart’s idea of codifying our self-description as referees using GM Merit Badges. Infinite Bliss’ had a follow-up with Player Badges.

Here’s how I see myself. I shall add this to How I Roll. :)

My GM Badges (compared with all GM Badges):

Badge Explanation
My games use a pre-made Map and pre scripted content.
I do have a campaign map and I will use published adventures for particular locations on my campaign map.
My games rely on a lot of Improvisation rather than pre scripted content.
I try not to prepare more than 1h for each 4h session. Most of my preparation time consists of writing up what happened the last session and figuring out what this might lead to.
I roll Dice in the open and don’t fudge the results in my games.
I’m often too lazy to roll all dice in front of the screen but when it’s important I’ll make sure that you can see it.
Players characters Death is a likely event in my games.
It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen once in every five to ten sessions, it seems.
I play By-The-Book and “rule-zero” is not being used to alter existing rules.
I’d like to move away from playing “by the book” but I realized that what I’m doing instead is picking a simple set of rules and playing them by the book. 8-)
I will Mirror back player ideas I think are interesting in the game.
I like adding stuff to the campaign that my players thought up.
My games focuses on Exploration & Mystery.
I don’t like riddles, but there’s stuff to discover on the map, there are historical events to learn about, there are locations to travel to.
Players in my game should be prepared to Run when the odds are against them.
I often place powerful foes and allies in my wilderness (elven wizards, a lammasu, a group of devils, an eye tyrant) – thus it is possible for low-level players to stumble into a beholder lair. There will be warning signs, but if my players want to fight, they can.
My game focuses on Player Skill rather than character abilities.
Sure, combat depends heavily on character abilities. Outside of combat, anything is possible such as dealing with devils even if defeating them in combat would seem nigh impossible.
My games are Gonzo and can include a lot of strangeness.
My Fantasy world has crashed space-ships.

My Player Badges (compared with all Player Badges):

Badges Explanation
I like to explore the Underworld.
Dungeons are cool as long as it’s not the boring variety of “sneak, listen, pick lock, smash door, fight, loot, next room…”
I like to explore the Wilderness.
I like exploring the wilderness, exploring the world.
Wine, women and songs! Towns are for me!
I like towns if they are a source of adventure with interesting NPCs to talk to. I don’t like role-playing sitting in a tavern.
I enjoy Epic high fantasy!
I don’t mind epic if the mechanics remain mundane. In D&D 3 the mechanics got too unwieldy around level 10. That turns me off. Other than that, riding dragons, saving worlds, I’d love to play it all.
I enjoy gritty Pulp adventures!
What little I saw of the Warhammer RPG I liked. Rat catcher? I’m interested.

Original icons from Game-icons.net.



Ze Bulette writes:

What seems kind of crazy to me is that anyone looking to play in an early edition game is going to have a hard enough time, let alone use these badges for aid in trying to weed out the games they think they won’t like. On that level, badges are bad like labels - labels are for jars man! [...] If they’re not intended for use in finding a game, but just in defining your blog and interest, then is the potential divisiveness worth it? – On Badges

I think that not all people react the same to labeling or categorization. Those who appreciate it perhaps also like to think in categories (like I do) and they also like to hear about player types, GM types, and maybe even a bit of role-playing game theory (me, not so much). They like to use the labels as shorthands and feel that their ability to express themselves has grown because of their more expressive vocabulary.

Others, however, dislike the compartmentalization, particularly of humans and human activities because they realize that all the big issues of life are hard to pinhole. They are fractal in their aspects. The closer you look, the more variations, exceptions and volatility you find.

Here’s an ironic aspect of the entire thing: At one point I took a personality test online and was impressed. I pointed other people to it and some disliked the idea very much. I was confused. Then I read on the site that certain personality types were underrepresented in the online statistics because these personality types disliked taking the test – I’m guessing because they disliked judging, labeling or categorizing people. I laughed. Too bad I can’t find the link anymore.


Back to the badges! Notice how Stuart provides a Tactics badge but no Strategy badge. Here is how I use the two words: tactics is how to fight and strategy is when to fight. I don’t like tactics. We had plenty of tactical combat when I ran D&D 3.5 but I realized that I did not like it. I do like strategy, though. Can we risk another fight? Can we get around this fight? Can we bluff our way through? Can we strike a deal or form an alliance? Those are the kind of questions I am very much interested in. I wonder whether there are people that don’t play this way. Is there a point in having a strategy icon? Is it possible to have a strategy icon that will not be confused for tactics?


Oh, and you can buy physical badges, too. :)

AlexSchroeder 2011-08-23 09:44 UTC

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