Do you find ideas for games in your everyday life? I do. I’ve got a mental vault where I shove them for later use. Let me give you an example.
By day, I’m a Systems Administrator for an ISP. Not too long ago we had a particularly nasty spammer/phisher who had managed to get off a pretty good phish before we smacked him down. He managed to fool some people into giving up their usernames and password which he then used to access their accounts and send spam from. We caught these and shut him down. When going over the evidence it turned out he was using multiple proxy servers to send from.
In real life, that is pretty boring. And it sucks balls if you’re the one being woken up at 3 AM deal with it. But in the game world that can become exciting. This is the idea that popped into my head when I was wrapping up that task:
Modern game. Character is possibly a spy with Computer Skills or maybe just a normal Systems Admin. The game can be worked to create a scene where the Big Bad is attempting to sabotage a network or server and the character(s) have to stop him by displaying even better skills.
If it’s the Systems Admin, it could be a normal day at the office when he is alerted to port scanning attempts. He traces them and blocks them. Suddenly another pops up and he blocks them as well. And another. And another. And soon it becomes obvious the Big Bad is attacking him from multiple fronts. Possibly one of the port scans is successful and now the Big Bad is in, so now out guy needs to lock him down or at least out of the critical bits before Bad Shit happens. That’s a day at the office, but if it is 3 AM and our character(s) just got woken up, they needs to suffer a few penalties before they wake up enough to figure out what is happening.
For the spy game, it’s the same thing essentially, but the consequences need to be dire in either case. I was thinking of using World of Darkness for the game system when this popped in my head, but use whatever works for you. I just happen to think opposed roles in World of Darkness, with the sound of all those dice hitting the table, create some really good tension.
And I know typing on a computer doesn’t seem like the most interesting thing in the world, but this is where the GM really gets a chance to shine. I’ve met some GMs at cons in the last year that could make tying your shoes in the morning seem like an adrenaline filled joy ride. That’s what you’re shooting for.
The point is, ideas are everywhere, even in the most mundane task. The trick is to be open to them, to let your brain make the correlation from “seemingly random task” to “this would make for some great role playing.” Trust me, once you get your brain working that way, you’ll see ideas all around you. It’s exciting and it makes life a bit more fun to see that potential everywhere you look. Give it a try.
Filed under: Misc