I was thinking today about my game I created and was running at KublaCon and out of 4 players in the game, 1 had a harder time contributing to the story. You could tell they wanted to but it was a little hard to be creative on their feet like the other three players.
I was considering a PBTA system that was more stripped down that married Golden Sky Stories with playbooks. I think the playbooks would have to be very user friendly explain how to play the character and how to interact with other characters. I want to try to make it easier for people who are not fast on their feet. Generally people who are experienced and are fast on their feet have a tendency to take control of games and other people just let them because they don’t want to cause a log jam. I know GMs are there to balance and give spotlight but a spotlight can only be useful if a player can stand up to shine and for a new player that can be hard.
So what if the playbook taught how to be a good player too. Take for example Masks, Pierce the mask has a set of questions to ask, what every move had set of options like that. The simpler the better. I know this is antithetical to the Indie Genre of giving more reign but we should build games to elevate the player without having to lecture them or make them feel bad.
The playbook moves would be the most necessary moves in most games. You run into a wall what do you do? Start from the fundamental, some players think oh I need to be creative, what if every player had a skill that could get them through it and it was outlined. Climb, break through, jump etc etc. The more players see possibility the more they understand that there is no right way to do something.
I think creating a game that teaches players the world of a sandbox will elevate them to go beyond it.
I also think we could create modules for new GMs, that give direction on how to play NPCs, and come up with what happens in case of dice failures.
Just thinking out loud. I’m in the middle of my other game and getting it tested but this may be a side project or something I may want to work on next.