Dave Thompson’s Epic-Level Collaboration

Posted: 15/07/2013 in Uncategorized
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In the spirit of collaboration which I have been pursuing so vigilantly lately (and by ‘pursuing’ I mean ‘throwing things at my collaborators impatiently until they meet my demands’), I thought I would mention some of the recent postings and goings-on of avid gamer and fellow blogger Dave Thompson.

I’ve spoken about Dave before, as one of my main influences in starting a blog in the first place, and his blog features updates (far more regularly than mine) regarding fitness, dieting, martial arts and, most prominently, a sandbox-style tabletop game of epic proportions called 13th Age, played with the rules of the same name.

The game works like this: twice a week Dave emails us asking who is free to play, where we would like to go and what we would like to do. We all have a copy of the map of the game world, which is began blank and has been slowly filled in as we explore, discover, and choose to define things ourselves. Each week the party might be different, and the actions of one party might affect the situation of another in the same world.

Dave’s latest instalment to the enriching and expanding of the setting is a collaboration of world creation. He has posted a hex map of the land the game is set in, along with a Google Doc open for editing, and has invited anyone to take a hexagonal spec of the world and define it however they see fit. This can include adding buildings, locals, backstory or politics, with the intention of all of this content from so many people creating a vast, diverse and unexpected landscape for gaming in. I love how this method of combining the elements of GM-created plotlines vs. fully collaborative storytelling to give players that extra level of input over their own adventure.

I’d highly recommend following Dave’s blog, To Hit Arse Class 0, to keep up with his updates and insights. Other posts of his which are worth a read are on Dreamlining and Harajuku moments. On a vaguely-related note, a bit of link-clicking led me to this very cool article on how to cross anything off your bucket-list, which is worth a read for anyone trying to achieve something big and scary.

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