So in Indie RPGs there are 2 terms which seem to form the cornerstone of how gameplay works.
Kicker – Dramatic scene described by the player with their character in the middle of it.
Bang – The action that drives the story, usually instigated by the character.
These 2 aren’t exclusive to Indie Games though, both are used throughout the RPG hobby just that in Indie Games they’ve been pushed to the front of “how to play”.
In many respects this approach is the origin of the player narrative style of game play that has led to GM-less RPGs.
What I’ve been considering of late though is how this approach can be used to define the environment for a new campaign. Sandbox / Sandpit style approaches work in most creative fields. A group of people get together and create with no restriction knowing that what they come up with is collaborative and probably more importantly drives a collective story.
Seeing as this is the 5th of November I’m going to use the phrase Fireworks to cover this process and really that’s not a bad definition.
As the creative process flows the players all start to bounce ideas off each other ultimately resulting in that collaborative and collective picture of where their characters will exist and the adventures that they will take. All that’s really happening here is a creative chain reaction but one that isn’t restricted to linear paths. Woah that’s pretty heavy but then again what’s so special about that?
Nothing really but to take the Kicker and Bang labels they’re really not that special either indeed the Firework is a culmination of those to reach a major Bang or indeed succession of key Bangs throughout the collaborative picture.
I suppose that the Firework is almost more aligned to that collaborative piece too. Each player and their character will have their individual Kickers & Bangs but when you combine these from multiple players you arrive at the Fireworks.
This might not be anything new to you and in reality it’s nothing new to me but in the interest of giving things labels (is there such an interest?) I think Fireworks serve the purpose of describing that collective Bang.