Biggest lesson from last few years of gaming to me might have been that I can accept the fact that not all campaigns will work.
At first this seems like no-brainer. But only after some consideration, failures, and successes was I able to embrace this. It is not “letting your players down” nor is it “failing”. Understanding your own resources as GM is a tool.
So in this post I will try to explain this personal notion.
Various organizations have for decades now been moving away from the traditional model of hierarchy. The basic idea is that instead we want autonomous teams, which work together to achieve goals versus the old model of having groups of people performing individual tasks.
It would seem like it would be a good idea to be the good student and do your homework. And to a point, yes. You should have some idea of your characters background. On the other hand, too much detail can be a huge detriment.
For some reason, there’s this notion that having long campaigns makes them epic. Sometimes people go even so far as to assume epic is synonymous to long. Well, this is not true. Epic is about celebrating the great deeds of heroes.
Maps. Most roleplayers (that I know of) like them. Some (like me) are even fascinated by them. In my opinion they make many situations in games easier to handle and might even inspire the players. Last night while playing Eldritch Sigils the group explored the subway tunnels under Berlin and I happened to draw a map I was exceptionally contended with. This made me think about mapping while playing in general and I decided to share a few of my thoughts.
One of those mistakes I’ve made plenty of times myself.
There are groups out there who have been playing campaigns for decades. They get together when they can and go on one more dungeon raid, where they pretty routinely move from room to room, emptying them from threats that just sit there, waiting for them.
My mistakes have been in the completely other direction.
I was once in a game where the GM had somehow gotten in his head that he could require as to make harder rolls, because everyone in the group had been playing for so long. So what’s the assumption here? Experienced players get luckier? Experienced players have learned how to get away with cheating? I’m not sure. Sure, we might be able to use the resources we have more flexibly and in different ways, but we still have all the same limitations as the beginning playes.
… actually, I think experience is often a hindrance.