The Preparation issues deal with setup of the campaign. They describe the kind of preparation a GM does. They deal fairly directly with the motivations and limitations behind the preparation for a campaign.
N.B.: This scheme presumes in its descriptions a simplistic pattern of game design followed by game play, and never the twain shall meet. Of course, this doesn't actually exist, but the system should still hold for the normal routine of design/play/design-while-playing/design-some-more/play/design/etc.
Setting Axis 10-| / 9-| Setting / 8-| -oriented / 7-| / 6-| / 5-| / 4-| / Script 3-| / -oriented 2-| / 1-|/ 0-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Script Axis 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The distance along each axis measures the amount of preparation of that sort that was done for a campaign. (This is usually limited by the amount of time the GM has to spend.)
Campaigns with more time spent on Setting design than on Script fall into the upper left of the graph, and are termed "Setting-oriented". Campaigns which fall into the lower right are termed "Script-oriented".
The origin (0,0) of this graph is pretty much meaningless -- it indicates no preparation of any kind. "10" on either of these axes represents some sort of humanly achievable limit on the amount of preparation.
Setting preparation is typified by a wealth of NPCs, detailed histories, copious maps, background events, and the like. The Setting-oriented campaign provides for a broad range of PC actions, but doesn't lay out consequences too far into the future.
Script preparation concentrates on relevant plot elements, possible outcomes of PC choices, and NPCs as sources of motivation. A Script-oriented campaign sets up a more limited decision space for the PCs, but maps the outcomes of those decisions in more detail.
In short, a Setting-oriented campaign requires a greater breadth of preparation, while a Script-oriented campaign emphasizes depth.
Individual Axis 10-| / 9-| Individual / 8-| -oriented / 7-| / 6-| / 5-| / 4-| / Template 3-| / -oriented 2-| / 1-|/ 0-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Template Axis 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
These axes measure the degree to which the Script and Setting preparation hinge on the "dramatic necessities" of the PCs. Basically this describes how much the Script/Setting hook into and are dependent upon elements of the PCs' personalities and backgrounds.
A "0" on either axis means that Script & Setting are designed completely without reference to the PCs that will be involved. A "10" describes preparation that is based entirely on PC considerations. This, of course, means that a lightly Dramatic game would probably have the GM design Script & Setting long before the players make up characters, while the very heavily Dramatic game requires knowledge of already-made (or nearly so) PCs.
Preparation influenced by Individual Drama concentrates on the backgrounds and motivations of PCs considered as separate, um, ... individuals, whereas a Template-oriented approach treats the PCs as part of a unified group upon which generic Dramatic techniques may be employed (e.g. a military company, a ship's crew, or a traveling circus).
|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Thematic Axis 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
This weighs the influence of Thematic elements (such as betrayal, kinship, honor, the glory/ignominy of war, etc.) on campaign preparation.
"0" - No consideration of thematic elements
"10" - Campaign design is completely driven by Thematic considerations.
Outline | Preparation | Diagesis | Improvisation | Metagame
Last updated: 12 October 1995
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Copyright © 1995 Leon von Stauber. All rights reserved.