Sam was relaxing when I pounced him with tonight's questions. Please ignore the duct-tape - it really is for his own good. Chasing him down hurts more in the long term.
Terri: Drama plays a huge part in the D6 Epic RPG system, but why is that different from other RPGs? Aren't they all about storytelling and building the drama?
Sam: They try to be, and this isn't an attack against other systems, but they fall short either because the players and/or the system focuses on the experience points you get from killing monsters rather than roleplaying the situation and building the story or drama. If a system is built so killing monsters = advancement, it's hard to build the drama. Most systems do not focus on social interactions or romance, and D6 Epic has sections that deal with both social interactions and romance. This is not to say that you must play out a romantic situation, but the option is there.
And as it says in the book GM's can't fix romantic problems between two PC's (player characters). If you're fighting with your girlfriend, the GM can't help you.
Terri: Interesting, so what do you think these two new sections bring in the way of drama and player enjoyment?
Sam: The social interactions allows roleplay to be of importance rather than just rolling dice. An example would be haggling with a merchant, if you just want to roll dice and buy whatever you might get it for the price you want, you might not. But if you roleplay interacting with the merchant, bartering and haggling, that will give you bonuses for when you do finally have to roll dice. That might also create a friendship or reluctant respect between you and the merchant, or the merchant could hate your guts from now until forever. Either opens opportunities for adventures, mishaps, or drama - never knowing when the other shoe is going to drop.
Terri: And the romance?
Sam: Same can be said about the romance, as with social interactions. When a player decides his character has found the one (male, female, vegetable, etc.) it's not a simple dice roll to decide if they're a couple or not. You need to roleplay out the courting, the bringing of gifts, etc. Each step of the courting gets you closer to your romantic relationship but also has the chance to completely backfire. This also adds drama if you're trying to become romantically involved with a knights daughter and she catches you with the barmaid down the road - at that point things can become very interesting.
Terri: So the same theory applies to political entanglements?
Sam: They fall into the social interactions but court politics can be far nastier. It is very rare that you can trust exactly what a courtier might say to you, and the court has eyes everywhere. This applies to all settings whenever there is a political situation, it might court, it could be corporation, government, or any other self designated ruling body. In this who you trust, and the favors you build might one day save your life, or end it. The enmity can cause interesting ripples for you, affecting people you might not meet for several game sessions. Think the six degrees of separation when it comes to anyone you interact with.
And no, we're not going to make you draw a giant spider web of how everyone's connected.
Terri: So how is that kept track of?
Sam: The PC's keep track of their friends, acquaintances or enemies on a simple section on their character sheet. Which the GM keeps notes of as well. Just as the GM keeps notes on NPC's and what/who they know.
Terri: How else does drama play a part in D6 Epic?
Sam:We'll cover that in more detail via Epic Dice/Epic Points, and Failure. -- So, are you going to cut me out of this duct tape or do I have to growl?
Taking the saner option, I released Sam from the duct tape and promptly went into hiding...