Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Theater Of The Mind

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Theater Of The Mind

    Which settings do you feel are best for theater of the mind? Any settings that you feel just would not work well in Theater Of The Mind?

  • #2
    If I understand what you are asking, any setting would work fine. Where Theater of the Mind does not work, in my opinion, is for battles. Using minis and mapping things out helps to maintain a common understanding of the situation. Also, some players need to have a reminder where there character is. Sometimes with Theater of the Mind a player might try to have their character be everywhere.

    Comment


    • #3
      In my experience it's less about the setting being used than it is about the tone of the campaign.

      Tour of Darkness is a gritty Weird Wars version of the Vietnam War. Tactical positioning, cover, lines of fire, dead ground, mine fields, and similar "battle map" features are large deals in the setting.
      But maybe you want a game that focuses on the weird and psychological, less on the violent and tactical. So you run ToD in "theater of the mind". Which works great as long as all your players are in for the weird and psychological.

      Some styles and tone of campaign are better without the distraction of miniatures and battle maps.
      Other styles and tone need the tactile reinforcement of miniatures positioned on the map. Shane has a great anecdote about this in the World Builder's Guide ("A Foundation of Crunch", page 74).
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've run a ton of Savage Worlds and, except for very straightforward combats (no cover, etc.), have never had any success with Theater of the Mind combat. SW combat is very tactically focused, with lots of important stuff like distance and cover. I'd love to see a version someday that supported more abstract / Zone combat but.

        Comment


        • #5
          Savage Worlds is a great game with a lot of tactical depth, but those tactical aspects can really break immersion - the vampire is not that scary when you crunch numbers and represent it with a mini. The players also feel more in control when in front of a battle mat. So in a game where immersion in combat is more important than tactics, I would go theater of the mind. For me, this is true especially for games with horror elements - where the enemy is well beyond your normal capabilities. So for starter, I would go with ETU, which is an excellent setting anyway

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm a fan of the concept of TotM and have used it for several battles I've run in SW. It's a different beast, and a lot of the tactical mechanics of SW combat need to be ignored or abstracted. It requires players to be very specific about their goals and intentions, and without a visual medium, they really need to pay attention to what others say and do. It's very much a reactive and narrative-based style of play, and if the group is not interested in that, TotM can fail miserably.

            I agree completely with ValhallaGH that it's more about tone than specific setting. You can (as I have) switch between battlemat and TotM within the same setting, depending on what is important about a particular combat scene.

            Comment


            • #7
              The reason I ask is this. I would like to run a game for people who have never played Savage Worlds. I am thinking of doing this online. Sure I know there is Roll 20 and FG but this would require teaching SW and how to use VTTs. That might be overwhelming. If I can teach SW on Discord, maybe we can do VTTs after.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am just trying to think of which setting would best to start with as I have so many.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah the concept of minis are weird because I don’t want to use a Ken Doll head or a penny or some other completely out of theme item, and I also don’t want to shell out for miniatures. Couple that with never having been in a tactical combat with a map and I think my group can pull of TotM just fine. I’ll just have to describe the terrain so they understand there’s cover and the like.

                  i have no fear at all running any of the settings. I’m gonna start them with a SciFi setting where they wake up with no memory, because I figure the level of caution with their decision making will help them slowly understand how the system runs. And then after that we’ll dive into Savage Rifts proper.

                  My group is probably atypical because we switch games and systems every so often. Pathfinder, Star Wars Saga Edition, In Nomine, New World of Darkness (pre chronicle), Palladium Rifts, Palladium Heroes Unlimited, and a splash of random others like Paranoia and Hong Kong Action Theatre.
                  Last edited by Kramrassa; 04-06-2020, 12:41 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I GM SW as TotM (loving anagrams) what I do for combat is usually just a quick hand draw sketch of the scene (not to scale) and I use Pace plus running as challenge if a PC wants to get around -- ie PC says I want to run over and hid behind that tree so I will go OK you need a move of 8 roll pace plus running die with WD if you succeed you get their succeed with a raise you get there and can act, fail and you get part way and will have an easier challenge next round, if you want to sprint you get double move but are considered Vulnerable. Seems to work. I might update the sketch if more baddies arrive or something major happens or the party seems to be getting lost. For Blast etc I just make a ruling of how many baddies are grouped together. I've actually used a Sci Fi setting like you mention although with players with a bit of SW experience, since the players boarded a ship from earth in stasis the whole setting was new and I could slowly reveal aspects -- worked great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't use anything with a lot of additional edges, powers, equipment, vehicles, etc. I also wouldn't run a game that has an emphasis on squad based combat. In general, this involves avoiding most futuristic and superhero settings. I'd mimic the lean towards more horror focused setups because it's easier to evoke that feeling when you don't have a stat'd mini on the table. Rippers might also be pretty good for this.

                      It's more about tone and purpose than setting choice, though. If you aren't going to have the tools to competently explain position to the players, lean more towards smaller combats (usually with one or two distinguishable big bads) rather than big, sprawling, involved tactical fights.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X