Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Playing a Comic Book with the Mythic GME

Several months ago, I used the Mythic Game Master Emulator to play Risus in a variety of genres. I can't speak for how well the results read as fiction, but I can definitely say that the experience was very rewarding for me as a player. Even now, I look back at some of those play logs and smile at the memories of trying to anticipate what might happen next in those games. 

With my thoughts turning towards superhero RPGs, I am feeling the urge to break out the Mythic GME once again. But considering the genre, I think I'm going to try something a little different. Rather than recording my adventures in standard prose, I'm going to attempt to use Mythic to write in comic book format. I've been reading a lot of scripts lately to get a sense of how it is done and I am intrigued by the possibility of generating something similar during play.

This is going to be a bit of a real-time experiment and I may change the rules as I go, depending on how things play out. But at least initially, I'm going to adopt the following Mythic conventions:

Theme: Adventure (from Mythic Variations). This means that  doubles on the Fate Chart always result in random events which are are rolled from a special table. The Chaos Factor can never go below 5.
Scenes: I'm going to break scenes every one or two pages. This will result in much shorter scenes that would otherwise occur, but the pacing seems about right (at least in preliminary tests). I'm going to keep in mind the layout of pages, and some scenes may stretch across two facing pages.

Chaos Factor: I'll be using the proposed "pressure valve" variant from the Mythic Yahoo group to handle changes in Chaos Factor. Rather than alter the Chaos Factor based on notions of how chaotic things are, I'm instead going to increase the Chaos Factor if there was no combat involving the viewpoint character in the previous scene. If there was combat, then the Chaos Factor will drop.

Character Lists: Initially, I'm going to make all characters that I believe might exist in the setting (such as the ICONS characters that I have recently been posting) available for random events. After the first scene, I'm going to tend towards using a list of characters that have already turned up in the story (except for perhaps the last page in the issue).

Issues: I'm aiming for approximately 20 to 32 pages in a mostly self-contained issue with subsequent issues continuing any unresolved story elements. I've only experimented with a few pages thus far, though, so I have no idea how well the stories will break into issues until I actually get playing.

System: This is a Risus blog, so at least some of the stories will use that system. However, I am keen to try out other games (such as ICONS), so expect some variety in the system that I use for combats and task resolutions. When they come up, I will present stats for characters and such using Risus in addition to whatever system I might be using at the time.


Trey said...

Sounds like fun. I'm interested in seeing the results.

I've actually thought about using a comic book script format for adventure write-ups period, as its a format I'm familiar with from my forays into comics and i thought it would break up thick prose blocks nicely.

Risus Monkey said...

Yeah, I really admire the economy of the comic book script. I hadn't thought about organizing my regular campaign preparation notes in comic book format, but it is a great idea. My sessions are very episodic so it might work out nicely. I may have to try it out for next week's game.