December 21, 2003

WISH 77: Contributions and Influence

Ginger's WISH this week:

This week, we�re talking about contributions again, but from a balance perspective.

What do you think the value of contributions to a game is? Do you think it�s fair for the GM to give out experience or character points for contributions? If so, what qualifies? What about the informal value of contributions? Do they balance or unbalance a game?

I've had several changes of heart over the years of SB in doing contributions, a constantly evolving attempt to balance matters.

In the beginning, I was relatively stingy with contribution points, diaries and things like that getting a flat rate of points, and thus little incentive when a player decided to stop doing them.

Turning contributions onto a per-diem basis has had its own problems, with a few players trying to get greedy on points by producing lots and lots of contributions, sometimes of marginal value to the game. My former girlfriend was infamous for this tactic.

And so the wheel has turned again. I'm more flexible at the beginning of a player's start as far as giving points for up front contributions. Ginger's photo trumps of Alais and Lorraine are well and good and useful to the game, and thus rewarded.

And that is the key. If the contribution enriches the game universe, by means of locations, NPCs and the like that the GM can play off of (as Ginger explains in the answer to her own WISH), those are the contributions that are going to get my interest and better renumeration. Help create and expand my universe, and reward shall follow. With that said, burying me in contributions is a tactic that isn't going to work. There has to be balance.

And if you ask me this WISH in a couple of years, likely my viewpoint will have continued to evolve.

Posted by Jvstin at December 21, 2003 10:11 AM