Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Makes a Good Player? with Kate Bullock

Today's What Makes a Good Player? feature is with Kate Bullock. Kate talks about gaming regularly and Powered by the Apocalypse games!


What do you try to do most often while playing games to enhance your experience and the experience of others?

I try really hard to find out what people are doing with their characters, what they want in terms of challenges or moments of shining, and I try to give it to them. I try to put my own character out there so that I can help invest in other people's stories and help them shine. To enhance my own experience, I invest in other players' characters and so my story is impacted by their story doing well or thriving. I also try to go for what's good for their characters' stories over mine, but I find that very satisfying. 

Do you use any specific play techniques (narrative tools, improv tools, etc.) in your play sessions?

I ask very pointed questions, which is a big part of the PbtA systems. I'll pause to even ask "What do you want out of this?" so I can help facilitate that into happening. I'll also do some ground work ahead of time by finding points of story where I can push as my character and come to the table prepared to engage the other characters with new problems or ways to bring forward more story. I also use the X-Card at everything because I find it lets me dig deeper and play darker because there's a safety hatch in play.

How often do you like to game, and what is most comfortable for you to maintain good energy in games?

I play campaign games anywhere from 2 - 6 times a week. I game regularly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays. On Mondays I usually blog or podcast. I love gaming. It's part of my life blood. The best way for me to maintain good energy is to stay engaged and listen and ask questions. I find emotionally investing myself helps a lot and eating good food and having good snacks and lots of water. I also spend a lot of time talking to people online about what they want to see so I have cool ideas before I get to the table, but I'm not beholden to them. I'm happy to let the fiction do its own thing and follow it where it may lead.

What kind of games do you feel you are most comfortable with and enjoy the most?

I play for emotionally intense experiences, most often of the sad and dramatic kind. This has lead me down the PbtA road towards Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts a lot. I also really enjoy story games, like Before the Storm, Fall of Magic, Summerland, and a few others. Anything that addresses emotional feedback and payoff. I'm comfortable with almost any game, as I've played a lot, but the minute things get very detailed and simulationist, or have a huge expansive world that requires a certain degree of canon knowledge, I'm out. 

Can you share a special experience in a game where you felt like you did a good job playing your part in the overall story and game?

 Hm. Most of my special experiences are as a GM. But I was playing Monsterhearts a few years ago as the mortal. It was my "job" to make people feel like monsters, but also feel human at the same time and offer salvation and redemption with kindness and love. I had been terrified when all of my friends became their darkest selves, so I made a deal with a fae redcap to let him out of the fae realm if he gave me fairy dust that would remove the monster from my friends. And then I proceeded to find all my monster friends, whom were all guys who had some interest in my mortal character, and blow dust on them, at time when a murderous fae was on the loose (oops). My lover got out of his darkest self, found me, we had sex after saying I love you, and he became the demon darkest self once again. It caused a lot of drama, a lot of issues, and drove story in a great way that included everyone. I dug it.


Thanks so much to Kate for participating! I hope you all enjoyed reading.

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