I love Glorantha. Its a rich world with its own interesting cosmology and a wealth of myths. I would love to run a campaign in there. Just to get really into all the stuff I love. And I never should. Sure, I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t seem to work out. Why? Because I can’t ever communicate all things I want to any potential players.
I’ve been saving this pretty one for a while now, but it needs to be discussed.
What’s railroading? That’s when the GM has clearly planned out what’s going to happen and then pushes the players to follow that plan. Personally, I hate it. It makes me the audience to GMs story. And you know what? That story isn’t really as engaging as the GMs think.
I know most fiction works like this, so its understandably tempting to make one character the main character in the campaign. However, it doesn’t work like that in practice. Your audience consists of a handful people in the form of your players. Each of them has a character and each of them feels particularly close to that character. So, for them, your chosen protagonist is just a nuisance that keeps their character from taking the spotlight. Nice job alienating most of your audience.
I used to play with a GM who used play a lot of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Mostly Murder Ballads. I might not like it as much as I like some other albums by them or as much as certain other people I know, but I like it. And there lies the problem.
Okay, this is a big one. Nothing like the previous two, but gladly this isn’t big in the sense that I would need a book’s worth of words for this.
What it boils down to is this: If you are willing, you can put a lot of the responsibility on the players and let them control much of the environment. So, of course, the question is, what happens when your players, who are gamers by definition and as such understand that this can give them an advantage, abuse the system? Well, first, lets recount all the instances this has happened since I’ve adopted this trusting style of GMing.
When your mother dies, what do you do? You have a funeral, you mourn, you’ll visit her grave. What do you do when a player character dies in an RPG? You hand them a new character sheet and leave them to fill it out.
You know the situation. Your characters are facing a bunch of goblins you threw in there just to have a combat encounter, because you feel like you should have one here. And what happens? One of those apparently harmless goblins crits and would deal deadly amount of damage to one of the characters. So, what do you do? Well, okay, maybe you didn’t roll the maximum, maybe he just rolled poorly on damage instead…
You know, no-one’s ever going to know…
Though it seems we have more than enough of timing issues with this campaign we are managed to have an awesome fourth session yesterday. And even though we have been using Eldritch Sigils for a few years for the campaign it seems we can still find minor details that need correcting.
It seems like ages ago when I was GMing ANKH to my friends after school and just had to tweak the rules of the game to suit my taste. It might have been twenty years ago but I’m still doing it. And for the life of me I cannot see the reason why?
Why cannot I be satisfied with the rules as written?
Spoiler Warning! Underdark Without Nightvision is a based on my experiences on playing Out of the Abyss campaign as a human ranger (deep stalker) and will include a host of spoilers. Thread carefully!
After a long holiday hiatus we got back into the Underdark. To solve the problems with the leadership amongst our groups and to (eventually) escape the abyss. Or in fact the group did get together but I was absent.
So this time I’m going to talk about player absence.
After having toyed with the idea for a while, I think yes, but of course, its not quite that easy.