6/12/2009

I thought I would hate it, I thought it would suck, but in the end I gave in and started watching Lost. I usually completely disregard the TV advice of my fellow geek friends, especially after they recommended that I watch the new Battlestar Galactica, which I hated every minute of with a smoldering dragonfire like hatred. So when they started recommending Lost I didn't listen. I didn't listen for five years, but three weeks ago everything changed.

My girlfriends brother gave us a copies of all the first four seasons of Lost. She started watching them first, I just sort of let them play in the background while I was doing other stuff. Eventually they became the other stuff, and I'm proud (and somewhat ashamed) to say that I have watched four seasons in three weeks, and I'm hooked on the show like it was heroin.


Because of this recent obsesion I have tried to incorporate some ideas from the show into my current campaign, and I think the show has a lot of valuable ideas for any game master.

If you haven't seen Lost you might not get where my ideas are coming from, but if you haven't seen Lost you shouldn't be reading this you should be watching it.... right now... I mean it... stop reading this and go watch Lost.

Here are what I consider to be the best "Lost" lessons for gamemastering:

1) Keep them Guessing - Never, ever, ever reveal anymore than you absolutely have to in any campaign. You want your players to feel as if there is something bigger going on that they don't quite understand, but they know is really important.

2) You're lost, now survive - Dungeons are strange places, easy to get lost in and hard to get out of. The best adventures are always the ones that are the hardest to survive.

4) Secrets, Secrets everyone has secrets - Players should have secrets from the other players. Maybe these secrets are only revealed as the campaign develops, or maybe they are so important that if someone knew everything would change... and does.

3) The players are incredibly special and crucial to the campaign... or are they - Players like to the center of attention and rightly so. Maybe they are so important to the world that the world itself can't exist without them... or maybe they're just being manipulated into believing that for someone else's gain.

5) I got your antagonist here, and here, and here and possibly here - Wow you just killed the big baddie... oh shit he was just working for the real big bad, and the guy that I though was the big bad might not even be bad, and who the hell is that guy. You get the picture.

6) The big reveal is only there to reveal a bigger reveal - I thought we had it figured out finally, oh that wasn't it. What happens now?

7) Hang the end of every adventure off the edge of the cliff with hungry tigers below and a mouse chewing through the vine the players are holding onto - I think this one is pretty self explanatory.

8) 4 8 15 16 23 42 - Push the button.

Any thoughts?

10 comments:

  1. Great overall list. I agree with each one of them. In particular, I like #2. In D&D, or other fantasy games, you can have the players get lost in a labyrinth that they cannot find their way out of. Slowly wear them down with fight after fight. It'll definitely make the players feel like they've been through a war.

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  2. I had a similar experience with LOST I rejected it as mainstream media BS akin to Brittany Spears and Wal-Mart ... and through a friend of mine's persistence finally caved and netflix'd season 1. I have to say I even did that ... watched the first few episodes and said ... meh. But my wife decided as I was about to send the disks back ... oh let me watch these ... and got me to watch them too. I sat down and was basically forced to watch through episode 5. I got hooked and the more I watched the more I was drawn in ... here I am a year or so later eagerly awaiting each new episode of season six. I have to say that I with 100% honesty had a very similar idea to this for an RPG game over ten years ago. My campaign started with all of the players essentially washing up on a beach ... the island itself was mysterious and there were various "factions" on the island that the party was free to interact with. The storyline obviously wasn't anything like LOST ... but the initial concept was and it worked well ... I'm still friends with a few of the players and they still go on about how much they liked that game and how much they've stolen from it for games they've run. I really agree with your points and the concept in general of drawing upon the themes in LOST for inspiration in ones game.

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  3. okay, i've been meaning to watch lost for 5 years and never got round to it. you've just made me decide to get on and do it.

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  4. Excellent ideas, some things I should really take into account if I ever start Roleplaying like I want to.

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  5. No. 7, it is basic of basic. It is highly recommended skill.
    But others, you can not use this technic to all types of game.
    And I think 1 and 6 is almost same thing.

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  6. No. 7, it is basic of basic. It is highly recommended skill.
    But others, you can not use this technic to all types of game.
    And I think 1 and 6 is almost same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a similar experience with LOST I rejected it as mainstream media BS akin to Brittany Spears and Wal-Mart ... and through a friend of mine's persistence finally caved and netflix'd season 1. I have to say I even did that ... watched the first few episodes and said ... meh. But my wife decided as I was about to send the disks back ... oh let me watch these ... and got me to watch them too. I sat down and was basically forced to watch through episode 5. I got hooked and the more I watched the more I was drawn in ... here I am a year or so later eagerly awaiting each new episode of season six. I have to say that I with 100% honesty had a very similar idea to this for an RPG game over ten years ago. My campaign started with all of the players essentially washing up on a beach ... the island itself was mysterious and there were various "factions" on the island that the party was free to interact with. The storyline obviously wasn't anything like LOST ... but the initial concept was and it worked well ... I'm still friends with a few of the players and they still go on about how much they liked that game and how much they've stolen from it for games they've run. I really agree with your points and the concept in general of drawing upon the themes in LOST for inspiration in ones game.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great overall list. I agree with each one of them. In particular, I like #2. In D&D, or other fantasy games, you can have the players get lost in a labyrinth that they cannot find their way out of. Slowly wear them down with fight after fight. It'll definitely make the players feel like they've been through a war.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Larry HaralaJune 11, 2011

    Essentially the same thing happened to me with LOST  (looks like many of us have that in common)  ... I laughed at the pop culture garbage that I assumed it was and refused to watch it.  A persistent friend kept saying it was good.  I tried to watch it a few times and couldn't get past the first few episodes.  The third and final try I made it to the hatch episode and that hooked me.  I proceeded to blast through the remaining episodes and then watched the final season on TV as it was playing.  Indeed it is good stuff (for something on network TV lets not forget that .. this isn't an HBO or Showtime series right ...) and very inspirational for a devious DM eh :)  Good old JJ Abrams is nothing if not a dick who likes to pull the carpet out from under ones feet occasionally :)  In my mind that is a great way to be as a DM :)  but that is probably just me ... 

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  10. Nathan HicksNovember 10, 2011

    I'm not going to say that I liked it from the moment I saw it, but you're right. This list is very accurate to what I thought Lost could contribute. Thanks for writing it down!

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