Friday, July 9, 2010

Back in the swing of things...

Sorry, no advice for today really, but I do want to talk a bit about my Gming style and when I find I am happiest with running a game. Before that though, figure I should post that the ENnies are up, or at least their nominations. So go and vote for who you think should win all the different awards. You can find the nominations here.

Anyhow, back on topic. As the title up there says, this week I feel like I've really gotten into the swing of things. Not that I ever really knew I had fallen out of the swing of things, but I can see it now. I'm not even sure what happened, but I believe it started before my vacation, probably with the missing of a lot of game sessions. Not that those sessions being missed was a bad thing, people had legitimate reasons to be unavailable, just that you fall out of a pattern and the next thing you know the sky could be on fire and you'd never know.

However, there is more to it than that too. Granted, game happening again helps, and the fact I got to GM again on Monday (and get to again tonight for a different game) is a huge plus. I think the real difference is that over the last couple of weeks I finally got around to just sitting down and going "Ok, here is what I originally wanted with my games, here is what has been done, here is what the players have done and where they seem to be going, now how do I change this stuff to fit more with what the players are doing and seem to want?" It's a bit of a rough idea sure, but I always find that I'm a lot more eager for game once I have done it.

See, my games start out as ideas, like everyones. I usually have a whole list of things I want to do and a story in mind, the whole works. Then the worst day ever happens, character creation. Not that I don't like my players' characters, just they're never at all what I expected. Everyone asks to play a traditional feeling super hero game, and then no one makes a traditional super hero. Stuff like that, if you know what I mean. This is probably the time I get most frustrated with my games in general, as usually it means I need to throw out a whole bunch of stuff, or rework things. Ideas I thought would just be oh so cool! are now useless and will never see the light of day. Tragic really. So then game starts, we have the first session where I introduce the world and meet the characters, the second session, third session. I'm dropping open ended plot hooks, seeing which get nibbles and which don't. Usually by the end of the fourth section one of the players has this huge map of different plot points that they're trying to connect into one thing, which is always a fun time. By the fourth session something else happens too though, I feel like I have a firm enough grasp on the PCs to build around and for them. This is when I go back to my plans and drawing board, and I shove around the plot points, re-arrange the villains and events, throw in customized challenges for specific people. "Oh, you made a super hacker did you Mr. Team Leader? well then I guess the villain super hacker is going to take more of a prominent role!" you get the idea.

After that session, I think my games tend to pick up. I may not have a map, but I have a want list. I know where I want to go, and what I want to do there. I know a few ways the players can get there, and a variety ways to do so. After that I finally have a grip on the game, and I think it shows. This has happened for me this week, with the running of the recent M.A|C.C session I think I have a grip on the plot and what I want to do with it, with the ending of Greymoore's hiatus, I think I have a grip on what to do with that as well. I don't have to worry anymore about what I'm going to do because I have an idea. So now, I get to just sit back, enjoy the ride, and see how many PCs fall off the coaster in the process.

So, am I a freak? Or do you do this too?

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