Forgot something yesterday. Probably many things, but this one popped into mind this morning.
I tend to use too many shortcuts or cut things too short.
For example, last time I ran a game, I started the game at the scene of a crime that had happened two years ago. It was in a house where the characters essentially met each other.
The problem was, the players read this as the whole thing was supposed to happen in the house, whereas I had planned for the village where the house was located as one of the hazards. We never really got out of the house, although there would have been plenty to do out there (not that I had actually decided on anything concrete).
In the end, this didn’t really matter. Good times were had and a narrative was constructed. This doesn’t excuse the fact that I clearly miscommunicated. I like to skip all the bullshit most GMs push into their games to make them more lifelike and immersive, which is usually a mistake since they are actually using precious time to make their games more boring.
If it was really important to include the village, I probably should have started with one of the characters arriving at the village. Even if he met the rest in the house, this would have opened the village as a potential place to investigate things in my players’ minds. With that addition, they might have actually gone to the asylum where the young woman who killed her employers was located.
One miscommunication from me changed the whole scenario totally. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use shortcuts like this, but although stories are in many ways very open, there are also many rules. I tried to break a rule in the wrong place by using a faulty shortcut. I should avoid those, but I don’t always manage to.