Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back In The Saddle

I'm pretty excited. This Friday I'm back to GMing and it's been a long while. At the very least it's been since sometime in November when my Shadowrun game came to an impromptu end due to time constraints. Since then my normal game has been on hiatus while a friend ran another game, but now that game is back on hiatus and the "main show" is picking back up.

Getting Back Into Character
One of the problems I'm expecting my players to have is getting back into character. It's been a long time since the last time we played, which is bad enough, but they were also fairly new characters when the game went on hiatus in the first place. On top of that there is also the problem of interaction. Several months of not playing can do a lot to change views towards another character, and that could happen here. Finally, there is the interaction with other PCs and the level of friendship.

To solve all of these, or at least address them, in character as well as out of character the PCs are going to be coming together for the first time in months. This means that enough time has passed for changes to be apparent, and there is room for those changes to be perceived in a direct way by everyone. Hopefully itwill work.

Back Into The World
In a way I am grateful for the longer than expected gap, it means that I have a chance to re-establish the world the way I want to. I think I did a decent job the first time around, but I've also grown as a player and GM (I hope) in the time away. Beyond that, my own views of the story arcs and how to present them has shifted and that can mean needing a different tone. Coming into things after time away should give that a good shot at succeeding.

Trying New Things
I've mentioned before that I'm prepping in a different way for this game. In a real way I'm applying myself more than I have before because I want to see how much it pays off. I'm hoping a lot. However, in planning I have a whole ton of plot seeds and potential side quests along with points where, barring PC action to the contrary, important NPCs can and will die.

The only problem with complex plans is that Players have a tendency to shatter plans upon first contact. Even knowing my players and planning for how I think they'll act is no guarantee. There is a good chance that some of this planning will be all for naught in the end, and that is something I'll have to deal with. For now though, I'm putting the effort in and hoping the results pay out apropriately.


  1. Boy, that is an RPG-age-old issue - how much to prep, not letting what you prepped to nerf player agency & being prepared for your plans to not come into play. I keep hoping there's a golden sweet spot to nail as a GM that I will some day find. :-p

    Conceptually, I've figured the sweet spot (in a non-sandbox game) probably lies in having a detailed story arc along with numerous loosely defined side plots that are available for the PCs to run off to, if they so choose.

    Good luck with your restart A.L., you're going to have a good time with it. Is it L5R? I'm just starting to get involved with L5R - played in it for the first time last week, doing some skirmishes this weekend, might join a new mini-campaign if it happens & fully plan on running it at least a little. Have you ever recorded any of your L5R sessions?

  2. I have not. The closest to involving technology in games my group has gone is looking stuff up online, using pdfs, and one session we skyped a player in because he couldn't make it to game.

    It might be something to look into in the future, but a lot of our games are also social outings so lots of inside jokes get thrown around too. Not sure how well it'd work for playback.

    Also, I'm shy :P