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Nerdarchy > Film, TV and Video  > YouTube  > Nerdarchy on GMing Zoo Mafia RPG Design Diary #12

Nerdarchy on GMing Zoo Mafia RPG Design Diary #12

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This 11-minute video on Nerdarchy the YouTube channel is Nerdarchists Dave and Ted’s final design diary for the Zoo Mafia Roleplaying Game and it’s about running the game and being the Game Master.

The conversation starts with an overview of Zoo Mafia, the RPG where you Go Wild, Do Crime and Donโ€™t Let Humans Catch You. Dave and Ted then reveal that in Zoo Mafia RPG the GM is called the Zookeeper. Dovetailing with this topic they share how Zoo Mafia RPG revolves around the concept of jobs — the criminal activity your mob gets into during a campaign. In our live playtest each of the Playbooks includes two special Moves players can choose from, both of which offer special opportunities whenever a mob begins a new job.

Since Dave designed the playtest rules and runs the live playtest game the video is largely Ted asking questions about the experience so far. Part of this delves into different styles of RPG game play and how these affect Zoo Mafia RPG. For example there’s a discussion about how a job with a linear structure differs from a more open ended approach to a mob’s criminal activity.

Further insights reveal how Dave developed the concepts for each of the jobs. In the video he shares which parts of the game were things he’d planned in advance and what parts came out in the moment, which is always a fun and surprising thing to hear from anyone who runs RPGs. Getting together for a session zero and discussing the parameters of the campaign offered a tremendous benefit too. Knowing what sorts of elements were off the table made it easier to focus on crafting scenarios highlighting things the players would engage with more.

One development that surprised everyone involved in the playtest was the group’s habit of splitting up once a job began. In an early session the group split up and then split up again, leaving Dave with four individual characters in four different places whose actions all affected the others. In the video he gives some observations on how he managed this outcome and how it helped make the jobs even more exciting.

Are you all in on Zoo Mafia RPG? Nerdarchy is incredibly excited to develop this RPG concept and can’t wait for the next steps. Here’s all the ways you can engage with Zoo Mafia RPG right now.

Nerdarchy staff

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