In a previous article, we looked at reasons for having a back-up game. To recap briefly, adult responsibilities often get in the way of having a full table. A back-up game is a one-shot or series of one-shots that can be dropped in when necessary. In the past few months, we’ve used a back-up game three or four times. This seemed like a good point to reflect on what is working about the back-up game, and what challenges it has presented. Hopefully this “field report” will present useful insights if you’re considering a back-up game. First let’s look at our back-up game’s fiddly bits.THE PARTICULARS
Our group meets almost weekly for 2 hour sessions. While this is much shorter than traditional sessions, it seems to work with adult schedules. There are six players in the group, and they generally don’t like to press on if only two or three people can make it. Our back-up game is a simple homebrew Star Wars system. Obviously I chose Star Wars because it’s an easy sell: I’ve NEVER had empty seats at my Star Wars con games. It doesn’t happen.WHAT WORKED
The back-up game lets us play more often. We’ve had fewer cancelled sessions, which is good for both player and gamemaster (GM) morale. So far they seem happy to fire a few blaster bolts rather then not play at all.
Running a simple system has been a positive experience from the GM’s side of the table. It would be much more difficult to adjudicate a more complex system every other month or so. It’s been a great opportunity to playtest the rules as well. Since we don’t play it frequently, it doesn’t seem like I am changing the rules constantly (though I really am).
The game’s “Rebel Missions” structure has worked well too. Each session they get a straightforward mission from their Rebellion contact and are on their way. The goal is always fresh in their minds so they don’t have to remember things from previous sessions. Such a format would work well for a Star Trek or X-files type game as well.CHALLENGES
Sometimes it is difficult to finish a mission in a short time frame. We’ve had things carry over, which is difficult along with maintaining the regular campaign. Also, when things run over, we may not get back to the back-up game for another month or so. To help them finish in one session, I’ve had to shorten or jettison scenes.
Since this is a back-up game, we often have different players at each session. This requires a bit more time at the beginning to get everyone up and running. We also have to take time during the session to explain the rules. However, this would probably be true with an established system as well.
Given the episodic, ensemble nature of the back-up game, it can be difficult to have player characters work towards an over-arching goal. It’s like episodic television: they can’t grow and change in the same way as in an ongoing campaign. Also, it can be more difficult for characters to develop rapport with each other or NPCs.CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Back-up games have their share of challenges. They require us to design adventures differently than for an on-going campaign. In that way, they are more like a convention game that you get to run regularly with the same group of people. However, the ability to play more often and in different genres makes it worthwhile. For me as a GM, it’s been a great move.
Do you have any observations from the field with back-up games or alternate campaigns? Did I forget anything above? Let us know below.
According to marketing guru Seth Godin, ‘The secret of leadership is simple: do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow’.
Oh, if only it was that simple!
You might have read a blog a couple of weeks ago that announced we were going on the road on The Results Oriented Web Roadshow. Well, guess what? It finally happened! Tom McCracken hopped on an RV to travel around the country to talk Drupal and Content Marketing. Don't believe us? Watch this clip:
The module provides a user interface to create new Drupal libraries.
Two useful drush commands:
- An entity migration skeleton generator.
- A migration runner. Very simple, disregards potentially parallel running migrations (solution: do not do that), resets migrate status automatically (option to keep status).
These were useful for myself and I hope they will be useful to others. Bug reports and fixes are welcome. Feature requests probably will be closed.
The monthly security release window for Drupal 8 and 7 core will take place on Wednesday, August 17.
This does not mean that a Drupal core security release will necessarily take place on that date for any of the Drupal 8 or 7 branches, only that you should watch for one (and be ready to update your Drupal sites in the event that the Drupal security team decides to make a release).
There will be no bug fix or feature release on this date. The next window for a Drupal core patch (bug fix) release for all branches is Wednesday, September 07. The next scheduled minor (feature) release for Drupal 8 will be on Wednesday, October 5.
Drupal 6 is end-of-life and will not receive further security releases.
This contains helpers for the Replicate module:
- A rules action to replicate any entity (without restriction in type)
- A ctools / panels relation that takes any entity and provides a new replicated entity to save
- Replicate UI: Provides rules actions to replicate an entity of known type
It’s always a good idea to give your website a new coat of proverbial paint every so often. With the release of Drupal 8, we took the opportunity to not only upgrade our technology, but to completely redesign the look and feel along with the Drupal architecture.
Data-collection platforms like Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console gives site owners, admins, and marketings the type of data needed to make confident user experience decisions. It gives you data-rich view of your site's performance -- and not all data is created accurately.
While we can't seem to find any announcement from Google, it appears that the old YouTube embed code which those modules use has stopped working.
Luckily, it's pretty easy to fix!
Read more to find out how...