Dark Met is finally here!

And by here I mean that last night we had a stating session. But not your average stating sessions, Oh no, we didn’t even touch numbers and mechanics. That for the second session. This session was all about play styles and setting.

So, we opened with a quiz. I love quizzes, it’s part of being a nerd, but it was a multiple choice questionnaire, and at the end you tot up the number of As, Bs, Cs and Ds, and then see what dominant play style you have.

I came out with 4 Ds, 3As, 2Cs and 0Bs. This means I had 4 Actor points, 3 Socialite points, 2 Fixer points and 0 Cultivator points.

What are these four play styles? I’m glad you asked:

  • Socialite – a player who enjoys being part of a team, talking to other people/characters/needs attention from their gaming.
  • Cultivator – focuses on mechanical development, enjoys using mechanics and solving challenges with rules
  • Fixer – Someone who enjoys the setting and lore of the story the most, like finding challenges and solving problems and puzzles
  • Actor – enjoys the story of a character, character driven role-play is important

Now, this is a very simplified version of all of this. The quiz they gave us was based on Eddy Webb’s game theory. If you are interested in more about this, see his presentation here on youtube. It is fascinating.

He also has a 2014 updated version called Your Game Still Sucks. Here’s the mp3 and here’s the slides.

My play style is Actor with Socialite elements. Personally, I found that I have a lot of the good points of an Actor (character development and story) and a lot of the negative points (potentially) of a Socialite (I like standing out and having attention). There is no right or wrong play style, all of the play styles are equally valid, and all of them have good points and bad points. The purpose of the exercise was to see what our play style was and to think about what we want to get out of games and how we play the games. And you can be more than one (as a lot of people were). Many people were surprised at my lack of interest in cultivating. I like numbers, and I like statting, but it’s not how I play. It just happens at the start of games. To me it’s part of building a character, leading into my actor style.

So once we had our play style, we talked in small group and compared play styles and found some of the bits in games we had played in that we liked. I had some stuff about personal character arcs and learning special things, and also the time where someone tried to dick me over, so I got most of the player base and we had a big fight in the game and overthrew the prince. It was awesome. Also banishing that demon. That was awesome, I got to rock out, and had an arm bitten off. In character, not in real life.

The aim of this was to work out what we like and want from a game. Why do we play, and what do we enjoy the most. From here, we actually started thinking about characters.

They told us to turn up with three character concepts, which I did. Start with a one sentence idea. My three were Shy Artefact Scholar, Tough as nails Storyteller and Blind Architect.

Then, figure out what you would do in uptime. Aka, when the game is going on. Here’s where I hit a little stumbling block. The blind architect didn’t have anything to do in uptime. I tried to think of stuff to do, within my actor and socialite play styles, and I found that the novelty of the character would get old quickly. Beyond the initial “oh, she’s blind” there really was nothing there, so the character got scrapped. The other two, happily, had things to do in both uptime and downtime. My scholar gets to go after plot (I do occasionally like the fixer stuff) and I can develop her out of her shyness slowly, and my storyteller gets to be social and develop by bouncing off other people and being very reactive and the start point for other people.

Then, right at the end, is the question: What clan and Covenant do you think they might play. And the refs were encouraging us to not fix this down, but to have options. This is in Blood and Smoke / Vampire the Requiem so we have the new WoD clans and covenants. My scholar is definitely a Mekhet, starting unaligned to go into any covenant, although maybe Ordo Dracul over any others. My storyteller is Gangrel (maybe Ventrue?) and could either be Invictus, Crone or Lance, leaning towards Lance.

We then talked to other people, each of whom had at least one concept with options and we talked about all the concepts and there was lots of talking and speculating because we have favourites but no concretes because the refs need a level of balance between all the clans an covenents so we might have to change bits and pieces.

But anyway, the upshot of this all is that I am hyped, I have found out a couple of new things about myself as a gamer, a new way of approaching character building (which also helps with writing things), and I am ready to have fun. Now I just need to see if I can come up with a reasonable third character concept. I’m probably not going to want to play it as much as my first two, but it’s good to have options.