Saturday, December 20, 2014

Into the Green

The last time Brazilian gamer Luciano Paul Giehl was featured here he'd created a selection of props for an LA Noire/Mythos mashup.  This time around he's given the same high-touch treatment to a tabletop scenario set during the Vietnam War.  The collection of equipment manuals, maps, photographs, ephemera, and physical props is a brilliant way to involve players in the game world.

I've mentioned before how unusual it is that Mythos-gaming has such a historic emphasis on immersiveness, while more mainstream D'n'D style fantasy games haven't really utilized props and handouts.  That may be starting to change.  One of my goals for the new year is to bring attention to the high-touch approach in FRPGs, and try to encourage it.


Douglas Trouten Jr. said...

I remember my AD&D days back in the mid 90's to early 00's. when i was DMing I used to try to involve physical props whenever I could. I would encourage my players to try to find small bottles of various shapes to use as potion bottles, we would then fill them with different flavors of Kool-aid (sometimes leaving out the sugar so they were bitter tasting). When a player character used a potion the player would be required to drink the Kool-Aid "potion" that was associated with said potion in game. If the players went to see a fortune teller, I would bring out the tarot cards, runes, a small crystal ball with a pewter dragon claw base to hold it, etc... and actually use them in game (results modified of course to represent what was needed for the game). I had one player who was an amateur magician, and he would actually write out mock spell scrolls on strips of flash paper for his magic using characters, and after casting the spell from the scroll the prop would then be ignited and go up in a flash to show that the scroll had been used. I would also hand draw maps with a quill and india ink on parchement, and age the parchment, singe a hole or two here and there in the map or its edges, put and unwanted "spill" of ink on part of the map, etc... as a prop to give the players.

The players loved these props since it allowed them to interact with their characters other them describing their actions or moving a miniature on a grid on the table for visualization of where each character was in relation to the other characters.

Propnomicon said...

@ Douglas Trouten Jr.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Maybe I never really grew up, but I love touches like that in a fantasy game.