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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » RPG Design

Subject: Help me create/find an RPG for management training. rss

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Nick Watt
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Hi guys

My boss is aware that I am a board gamer, and that I have dabbled in RPGs as well. As a result, he has seen fit to ask me to create a customized role play for our management team. I was wondering if you would know of some systems that I could adapt, borrow, or even buy to help in this sort of situation. Requirements below:

- For managers to role play difficult conversations with staff.
- Simple ruleset.
- Customizable scenarios.
- Guides for the manager playing the staff member surrounding staff members emotional state and/or possible response.

I have already set out to create something but thought I would ask here as well.

Also, it should be noted that role play is often a dreaded form of training, but our management team are pretty close in and out of work and are mostly game for anything - so long as some structure is in place.

Thanks for your help in advance!

Nick
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The Ry
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Wow, that is a great idea
I would imagine something from the Lasers & Feelings family
I would be surprised if there wasn't already some sort of one already on the interwebs somewhere even an listing isn't here on RPGG
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Chris Abbott
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Just use Paranoia.

Or did you want to stay employed?
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M. B. Downey
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The Office Party could certainly lead to difficult conversations.
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Nick Watt
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Additional goals:
- Stay employed (and employable)
- Respond to difficult conversations, not create them.

:')
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Evil Doppelgänger
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General:

I think you'll probably be looking at a fairly traditional freeform LARP structure, because you'll want the dedicated time spent on playing rather than on explaining rules/mechanics. As a gamer, I would prefer some more constraints than the traditional "lets pretend" work scenarios I've been in. But I'm probably in the minority. Often, freeform LARPs have "scenes" with time limits, to advance the plot and keep them from devolving into chatting.

Specific:

Bomb the Church has nothing topically adjacent to work, but it does have a lightweight mechanic for playing out different opinions among people who may consider their opinions to be facts.

Geriatric Medication Game is work oriented and deals with workplace social issues in a medical environment.

Making History: The Breakup, non work related, is an amusing exercise in evaluating other people's viewpoints.

Monster Maker demonstrates how you can take almost any subject (in this case, chemistry) and gamify it (in a simple way). I don't think you could use the same system for work but you could use the same concept.

The Pluto Debate is an interesting situation of balancing science against public perception and tradition. A similar thing could apply in issues of workplace change. Especially unpopular change.

If I were you, what I'd actually want is something like:

Papers & Paychecks
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The Ry
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This may be more complex
But, using Dread you could use the blocks to represent managers responding badly to employees
And you could even set it up with blocks already missing to represent how difficult the conversation is
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Evil Doppelgänger
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The "problem" with using Jenga will be management's perspective.

They will see that the simulation starts out somewhere, and that the start represents a structure with some issues. They might be OK with that. But then they will see that no matter what you do or how you play, the simulation will end in disaster. And the only way to avoid that is to take no action at all, whatsoever, ever. Management will never, ever, never accept that their actions - well-intentioned or not - will always lead to disaster.

And having been at work my whole life, and having sat through about 2.75 trillion workplace "exercises", I can conclusively state that unless the exercise inexorably leads to a happy ending (get your mind out of the gutter) it won't survive the first training session.
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Chris Abbott
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Didn’t Picard tell Data that it’s possible to commit no error yet still fail?

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The Ry
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ctimmins wrote:
The "problem" with using Jenga will be management's perspective.

They will see that the simulation starts out somewhere, and that the start represents a structure with some issues. They might be OK with that. But then they will see that no matter what you do or how you play, the simulation will end in disaster. And the only way to avoid that is to take no action at all, whatsoever, ever. Management will never, ever, never accept that their actions - well-intentioned or not - will always lead to disaster.

And having been at work my whole life, and having sat through about 2.75 trillion workplace "exercises", I can conclusively state that unless the exercise inexorably leads to a happy ending (get your mind out of the gutter) it won't survive the first training session.


Fair call, it depends on how much work the OP wanted to do, as they could set up the state of the Jenga a certain way and ask the management questions and could number the bricks so that certain answers go to certain bricks. Thus if they follow the correct response, the employee/situation will remain stable and not fall. But, if they mess up it will fall

As one option of course
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Eric Jome
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Definitely Fiasco. Definitely.

With tequila.
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Evil Doppelgänger
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bobcatt wrote:
Didn’t Picard tell Data that it’s possible to commit no error yet still fail?

Just one more reason that Kirk is the only real captain.
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Nick Watt
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All of this is fantastic. Thanks, and please don't stop if something else comes to mind.

When I came back to this thread a day later, I honestly giggled with excitement. I am glad my office door was closed.
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ctimmins wrote:
bobcatt wrote:
Didn’t Picard tell Data that it’s possible to commit no error yet still fail?

Just one more reason that Kirk is the only real captain.


Don't disrespect my home boy Patrick Stewart!
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Jeremy Benson
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This sounds interesting. You could make a simple cue card point accumulation game, if you wanted to go really simple.

Each card is a situation, with point value for success or failure. Remove points from collected points on failure.

One person plays as caller, one person plays as receiver.

Card A
Receiver is having problems with their version of windows. They are short tempered if something is offensive. They're easy to calm.
Issue: Trash can is missing from the desktop.
20 points.

If they solve the situation they get 20 points, if they fail they lose 20 points.

Obviously you would tailor the situations and cards to your market. This is a simple solution. Maybe you could add RPG stats to the receiver, and the person playing the receiver would try to formulate their dialogue based on the image drawn in their mind. Or, simply trait tags like below.

quick tempered
level headed
calm
rude
friendly

You could add complexity by giving the phone rep a stress meter. GM would decide how many stress points the phone rep will receive in situations. The phone rep would play out the stress in their calls, and it might actually get them hung up on. This person isn't doing so well. They lose stress by defusing situations. Not sure if that's a bit too much or not. If your boss wants something simple to gauge people's workplace knowledge, just leave this out.

You could include calamity cards.

a) receiver thought you called them an idiot.
b) receiver's kids are making a racket in the background, you can't hear what they're saying.

These may cause stress, and need to be defused. Defusing these might give simple 1-5 point bonuses. How easy they are to defuse is dependent on the receiver's stats of course.

EDIT

Come to think about it, your boss probably wants the phone reps conversation to be as fluid and job relevant as possible, to test their skills. So let them speak freely, but dock them points if they do rude things, or bad job practices, and things along those lines.
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Nick Watt
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EeksGames wrote:
This sounds interesting. You could make a simple cue card point accumulation game, if you wanted to go really simple.

Each card is a situation, with point value for success or failure. Remove points from collected points on failure.

One person plays as caller, one person plays as receiver.

Card A
Receiver is having problems with their version of windows. They are short tempered if something is offensive. They're easy to calm.
Issue: Trash can is missing from the desktop.
20 points.

If they solve the situation they get 20 points, if they fail they lose 20 points.

Obviously you would tailor the situations and cards to your market. This is a simple solution. Maybe you could add RPG stats to the receiver, and the person playing the receiver would try to formulate their dialogue based on the image drawn in their mind. Or, simply trait tags like below.

quick tempered
level headed
calm
rude
friendly

You could add complexity by giving the phone rep a stress meter. GM would decide how many stress points the phone rep will receive in situations. The phone rep would play out the stress in their calls, and it might actually get them hung up on. This person isn't doing so well. They lose stress by defusing situations. Not sure if that's a bit too much or not. If your boss wants something simple to gauge people's workplace knowledge, just leave this out.

You could include calamity cards.

a) receiver thought you called them an idiot.
b) receiver's kids are making a racket in the background, you can't hear what they're saying.

These may cause stress, and need to be defused. Defusing these might give simple 1-5 point bonuses. How easy they are to defuse is dependent on the receiver's stats of course.

EDIT

Come to think about it, your boss probably wants the phone reps conversation to be as fluid and job relevant as possible, to test their skills. So let them speak freely, but dock them points if they do rude things, or bad job practices, and things along those lines.


All good ideas. Definitely will adapt them a little. The training situation in question for me is teaching the management team how to navigate conversations with staff over performance issues, negative staff interactions and other sundry interpersonal workplace conversations that are necessary but not always easy.
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Patrick McInally
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cosine wrote:
Definitely Fiasco. Definitely.

With tequila.


I see your Fiasco, and raise you the Business Casual playkit!

Y'know, Office Space, give me back my stapler, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you...

http://www.alliance-games.com/downloads/ss02_business_casual...

In all seriousness, though, you could totally customize a playkit to do this while downplaying the goal of general mayhem inherent in games of Fiasco.
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Jeremy Benson
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Ah, I get ya Nick. Hope you come up with something interesting. I don't know why I related this to phone calls, lol. Take care.
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