Friday, March 4, 2016

Discussion: Do You Enjoy Mechanics Heavy Sessions?

Some people love when the mechanics get the focus of the session. Others prefer mechanics never enter the picture. When I started playing RPGs the DM said that some of the best sessions are the ones where no one ever picks up a die. It's not untrue, some of the best sessions are those, but what type of session would you prefer?

I think a lot of us fall in the middle. We want some mechanics - if only because that means there is stuff going on - but we also want time to further plot, express our character, and forge relationships with NPCs and other PCs. Still, if you had to choose, which would you go for?

Personally, I think I might go for Mechanics Heavy. I'm fine with, and capable of, expressing character despite having a full session combat going on. You can work things in around the mechanics. However, you still have the dice and the unknown to add that extra bit of excitement. A session without mechanics while capableof being fun, could just as easily be story time or something where nothing is ever at risk.

How about you? If you had to choose, which way would you go?


  1. I don't like mechanics-heavy sessions because I end up steamrolling everyone else. :(

    The last truly mechanics-heavy session I played in, my human fighter pulled out all plugs, did everything she was able to... and ended up soloing the Necromancer who was supposed to be this Big Bad Final Boss. The GM wasn't happy, she never realized I could even DO that kind of stuff (even though it had been on my sheet for, yknow, months). Not that she had a bad grasp of the actual rules, but she wasn't very good with figuring out how certain skills and feats can interact with each other, which made her pretty much the opposite of a powergamer.

    Personally, I prefer my sessions to be heavy on the diplomacy and plot development. Dice rolls have a place in it, whenever something happens that can go more than one way, so I guess I fall somewhere in the middle between the two opposites. I like my mechanics to support the actual gameplay, but it shouldn't dominate the session.

  2. You & I are pretty much in the same boat A.L. I'd prefer a mix of the two during a session - I think the very different pace and feel of roleplaying and mechanics-heavy tend to enhance each other.

    However, if I had to choose, I'd go with mechanics-heavy. The crew loves to roll dice & face the consequences. They also love making tactical decisions within those consequences.

  3. Based on how you have defined heavy mechanics, I would say I fall in the middle closer to mechanics heavy. I say that only because I like skills mechanics to help guide the story. I don't have a great interest in drawn out mechanics or overly complex rulesets.