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Old 09-05-2017, 04:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Core Activity and Mission Statement examples and discussion

In an effort to better organize my GMing thoughts, I'm trying to collect examples of RPG/campaign core activities (as Robin Laws puts it) and mission statements (as Bill Stoddard puts it in a post I can't track down at the moment).

First off, can you contribute some CA/MS (lovely acronym) that have worked well - or poorly in helping you understand, pitch, and/or play a game or campaign?

Second, what games in your experience have benefited from a strong CA/MS? Which ones have suffered from a weak one? And which ones did just fine without, and why do you think that is?
I'll start with the easy ones I've been able to think of...

D&D (and derivatives, including Dungeon Fantasy): Kill monsters, take their stuff.
Call of Cthulhu: Discover the horrible things underlying reality and go mad in the process. (Possibly holding back the darkness one more day.)
GURPS Monster Hunters: Hunt monsters in the modern day, and kill them.
Feng Shui: Be kung fu action heroes in a cross-time struggle of fists and guns!

One of the games I think does fine without a CA/MS is, of course, GURPS - the mission statement for GURPS is "You can do anything!" which explicitly denies any kind of focus. But I find that means I need to come up with a CA/MS for any campaign I run in GURPS, or it goes all mushy around the second or third adventure. (I think there's an argument for saying GURPS has a core style, call it "action realism" or something, and contrast that with Fate Core's core style of "narrative gamesmanship" or whatnot, for example, but that's not what I'm talking about here.)
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