Jamie Fristrom writes:
I hadn’t played with Mark Nau in ages — and it was always Universalis, or something I’d run, or something we ran together. But just recently we started playing over Skype and he wanted to run it. ”Let’s play a Big Heist game,” I said. He said, “Okay.” Turned out he happened to have a Big Heist-ready hack of Vincent Baker’s Chalk Outlines pretty much ready to go.
And here’s the thing: he didn’t have us make characters. We just started playing, inventing and revealing them as we went. And it worked. It worked great.
No, wait, here’s the thing: he had us play the NPC’s, too. If there was an NPC he thought one of us could handle, who wasn’t in the scene, he tapped us to play them. Female russian mobster? Gave it to Terra. Irish cop? Gave it to Chuck.
No - here’s the thing - almost the whole game was fishing. He gave us a plot structure, and then he had us frame the scenes and create complications for each other. Every now and then he’d drop something in himself…some Russian mobsters here, some suspicious cops there…but seemed like we made almost all the rest of the content.
I’m like, can a GM do all of that? And have it still work? Apparently.
And, afterwards, I was like, that game was awesome, I better check out this Chalk Outlines thing, and once I manage to dig it up (with the Internet Wayback Machine…)
Mark’s game was almost completely different. It was his game, his homebrew, and you’ll probably never get to play it, because they’re just some notes partly written up somewhere and partly in his head.