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Action Play

When we talked about dramatic play, we found it was heavily character-driven instead of action-driven. When playing action campaigns, there are ideas you must balance. The first things to consider are the action scenes of the pulp genre and tactical play; imagine your characters in action while building them. You also need to have a good grip on the rules, so you can stay up with the other Players and match the fast pace of action games. Speaking of the Players, since these games focus on goal accomplishments, it's important to remember that your missions will require teamwork.

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An Action Adventurer

Last time, we focused on my addiction to drama and making characters that try to fit into the genre. I also mentioned my interest in Korean action films, and I should add Chinese films, too. To me the film industries of these two countries lead the action movie genre, especially for gamers. If you want to get into this, listen to the Jianghu Hustle podcast.

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Intimate Settings

Your character is set, their tragic life is just getting started, and you understand all about being a supporting actor; now it's time to turn toward creating a dramatic atmosphere. When talking about Setting we need to consider both the campaign setting and individual scenes. The campaign setting is there to set the general themes of the drama, while individual scenes provide space for each character to show off their feelings about the world around them, and to indicate how the story affects them.

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Sit Back and Enjoy the Popcorn

Dramatic characters require dramatic scenes, often spotlighting one or two PCs or NPCs, but how do we do this when games are designed to be a group effort? It’s simple: just learn to let someone else be the star for a bit. This isn’t a new idea, so let’s go through some of the methods you can use to help your friends bring their characters to the forefront.

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Creating Dramatic Characters

Previously we talked about creating character backgrounds, and we even tried our hand at focusing on secondary attributes to create multi-dimensional characters. In today's blog entry I want to go more in-depth, looking at the mechanics of a dramatic character.

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Role Playing Drama vs. Mechanics

The above guidelines give us some key things to shoot for when creating a dramatic character, but of course the real question is how to play one. Many of us act dramatically in our games accidentally, but few of us plan for it or do it on purpose. If one is encouraged to take improv classes (as some do to learn how to respond to assorted challenges in gaming), we shouldn’t ignore dramatics. Most of us have some ideas about what drama is, but these ideas are often limited to the exaggerated, black-vs-white tropes of melodrama.

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