Plan of Action
Distribute evaluation form
Introduce evaluation procedure
- Discuss open environment and the necessity of a free dialog
- Discuss the differences between a play session and an evaluation session
Evaluate Something Rotten
- Positive aspects
- Negative aspects
- Improvement strategies
- Character issues
Discuss continuing play options
- Something Rotten II
- Potential schedule difficulties
- Side stories
- Mary, Steve, or Mike runs these characters through a short story
- Other games
- D&D or Mutants & Masterminds with Shawn
- Feng Shui or other options with Matt
- World of Darkness with Mike
- Other options?
- Dissolution of the group?
Establish new goals
- Downtime narratives
- Character creation
- Story brainstorming
- Campaign questions
Munchkin or other time fillers
By unanimous consensus of the group we will continue Something is Rotten in the State of Nexus for another eight week run. Several players displayed a willingness to play something else, but when asked to rank their preferences Something Rotten was their first choice. Though they were given the option of replacing them, all players will continue with the pregenerated characters as well. I also offered everyone the option to drop any particular plot-line that they have not been enjoying and surprisingly no one took the opportunity. The players were also offered the opportunity to ask for background information that could not be used as in character knowledge. Essentially I was willing to give them any secrets that they wanted to know. Only a couple of them took advantage of the opportunity and the information delivered was not what I would consider game changing.
The most common positive aspects of the game cited by the players during this evaluation session was the emphasis on role-play and that there was no sense of railroading. The most common negative aspects included a lack of direction and short term goals. Suggested improvements were tied to resolving the negative aspects, but no specific strategies were offered. Remarkably the only significant character issue that came up was due to a failure on my part to provide adequate role-playing notes and no changes will be made.
Over the intervening week I have requested that the players write a narrative account of their characters' actions over the season of Air. They are permitted to resolve any story lines that are specific to their characters, but none that require multiple player characters. They are also permitted to initiate any stories they like. The minimum requirement is that they detail the characters' experience point expenditures, especially the acquisition of any backgrounds. Learning sorcery or martial arts other than Solar Hero present special cases though. Either of these must be learned in stages. The first stage is to locate the necessary mentor or manual to become initiated into the art. In the case of sorcery they may complete one of the five trials, and for martial arts they will most likely need to fulfill additional attribute or ability minimums before they can begin learning them. Additional experience points will be awarded based on the content of the narratives; one point per usable story element and one point per other interesting element. It'll be highly subjective, but I intend to be generous.
I found it very gratifying that everyone wanted to continue this game, and even more so that they have become attached to the characters. All of the criticism delivered during the evaluation session was valid and useful, though mostly for future games where I hand out characters in this fashion. Hopefully it will continue to be enjoyable for all parties and my schedule will not hamper us too much.