Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Getting Back In The Saddle

And we're back...kinda. I hope anyhow.

I missed not only posting here on Friday and Monday, but also the games I run on the previous weekend. Surprisingly that has me feeling kind of antsy. Like I left the stove on or something? It's a weird feeling. The other fun part is that between to two twelve hour days of driving, and some other stuff, it feels like it's been years since I last GMed, not the two weeks. it's actually been.

So now I'm coming up on the 7th Sea game I run, feeling like I haven't ran in forever, and it's just the normal allotment of time. For my players (at least 75% of them) it's going to be just another session. For me? I am not so sure.

How to deal with this? Well, I'm basically trying to double down on the breadth of preparation, and not worry so much about the depth of it.

What does that mean?

Normally when I prepare I have a good idea of not only where my players are, but what they're likely to do. I've played with most of the folks in my groups long enough I have a decent idea of what they'll hook onto, what routes they'll go down, and where their characters want to be. This doesn't mean they don't surprise me at times, but it does mean that I am normally good having hints of what else could be going on, but only preparing a couple things that I'm fairly sure will grab the players.

From there it works like normal. You develop the thread, the NPCs, the fights, the obstacles, etc, and then you let it go.

This isn't that though. Instead of going deep into a couple things, I'm going shallow in more. How does that work?

Basically, I'm less worried about how things play out and what's going to happen if a PC starts unraveling a thread. I'll play that by ear. However, I am going to be ready down 5 or 6 different avenues instead of just 1-3 for where my players want to go. Some big NPCs, big challenges, a desired twist, that sort of thing.

When it's ready it means the area may look more alive, but I'll have to improvise the depth. It's probably a better way to prepare all things concerned. We'll see how it goes, I suppose. How about you? How do you get back in the swing of things?

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