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Subject: How important is the referee? rss

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John Groen
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My experence with RPG's is not huge but it seemed to me that the difference between a good RPG experence and a bad shake one came mostly from the DM.

How much does the enjoyment of this game rely on the referee?

Cheers
John
 
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Jonah Johnson
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you are very right about the bad/good GM, makes or breaks rpg games. but the good thing about the BS system, is it's a boardgame with as much flavor of rpg as you want to have. think of the referee as the overlord in Descent or Doom, basicly he controls all the bad guys and knows the secret behind some of the missions.
now the players have a much better choice of things to do in BS then Doom or Descent and the characters can change and advance in skills, as they play just like a rpg.
i know i have rambled some........but i sort of do that when i enjoy a game as much as this one.
back to your question.
a referee can affect the game but just like in rpg's.......if you don't like the referee than find a good one.
the game is well worth looking.

stay well,

jj
 
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Peter Cobcroft
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You can play the game without a referee - but not all missions. Many (I would say 90%) of the missions contain secret information that the players should not know, but must work out.

The best type of game to play without a referee is player vs player - divide your players in two and man two different ships in a duel.
 
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Brian Peters
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when i first heard a review of battlestations on a podcast i told a friend of mine who was really into descent that it sounded like descent in space. i based this idea primarily on the fact that it had modular boards, and from the 'cast i had gotten the impression that the referee might have been as much of an opponent to the players in battlestations as the overlord is to the heroes in descent.

since actually acquiring and playing the game, my opinion of this has changed. i think the referee can be pretty agressive in battlestations - the fact that the heroes all have clones and that they at least get bonus prestige if they die makes death fairly minor. however, like most games that have even a bit of the rpg in them, it would be -very- easy for the referee to squash the players if that was his main goal. after all, he's the one setting up the missions. he could simply overwhelm the players. that's no fun for anyone. after all, if you die, you're still out for the session (unless you're controlling more than one hero).

so i think the ref in a game like battlestations needs to try to make things challenging, and shouldn't be as worried about killing off players as a gamemaster in a more typical rpg, but that really shouldn't be his main goal, either. there has to be a balance.
 
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John Groen
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Thanks for the replys.

To clarify my question, if you had a person as referee who knew all the rules perfectly but injected no personality into the game just following the scenario as given would it be;
a) Still a great game
b) Fun but a GM style ref would be better
c) Crap

Cheers
 
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Jonah Johnson
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a) and yes, it's my final answer.
i have played with a drrrrrrrrrrrry ref, the game was fun because of the players and what they could do with the system.
 
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Court
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JohnnyG wrote:
Thanks for the replys.

To clarify my question, if you had a person as referee who knew all the rules perfectly but injected no personality into the game just following the scenario as given would it be;
a) Still a great game
b) Fun but a GM style ref would be better
c) Crap

Cheers


My response would be b.

I think a really dry, rules lawyer master ref would be fine to play with, but I do think the game EXPLODES with a ref that plays a little "in character".

Of course, I come from an extensive RPG background, but people who have played with me (I'm generally the ref) said they had more fun because I played up some of the "characters" in the game, including the bots. One of the bots of the crew I decided was a bit morose, so I adopted the personality of Alan Rickman as the bot in the terrible rendition of Hitchiker's Guide and voila! Norman, his name, was a combat bot... and had a hell of a time.

The crew of the enemy ship, "The Happy Days" were all characterizations of the show, where Fonzy was the pilot... hey! Little things like that seem to bring the game alive even more.

Course, your mileage may vary.
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John Groen
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Thanks for the replys, I have decided to give it a go and ordered the main game and Galactic Civil War from Fair Play Games. Now I just have to wait 8-12 weeks for it to arrive by seaarrrh.
 
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Sinister
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The ref is pretty important in my opinion. I run a 15 person group of the game and we've played both as "one crew" and PVP. Even in the PVP a ref is vital.

Mainly because the more people you add to the game the more players need to be reminded of rules.

I find myself much more needed as a ref in 15 person game than a 3 person game. either way, however, it's important to have a ref.
 
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That rocks! 15 player group, wow. Quick question... would it unbalance the game if the Ref played one of the characters on the ship? I was thinking if a BattleStations! campaign had 2 Ref's and they kept switching out for each Scenario, it would be unfair if the one that's Ref'ing doesn't get to play or gain experience... they would be far behind everyone soon enough.

Has anyone doubled as Ref AND a character? Can you keep it balanced and fair?
 
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