Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Brave and The Bold

"Fortune favors the bold." Phormio by Terence

No one phrase better describes my overall attitude towards the players in my games than this. While my games certainly include complex plots, romantic entanglements and deep philosphical questions, I'll be damned if you can't solve a good number of problems by grabbing a bus and throwing it at your opponent. If you hide from the action, you hide from the rewards. If you leap into the fray, you may just land on fame and fortune.

I will even go so far as to say that this player...

"OK, I open the door BUT I don't actually OPEN it. I nudge it just enough that I will be able to hear anyone inside without the sound being too muffled. I should also be able to smell any strong odors through the tiny space between the door and the door frame. Now, if I get any indication of unsafe conditions before I nudge the door, I call the thief over to check for traps. As I matter of fact, lets send the thief over first and I (the heavily armed and armored Paladin with high stats and hit points) will wait some distance behind her until its clear. Now..." going to die. If not die than its a good bet they'll be maimed horribly.

This person on the other hand...

"OK, drawing my sword, I kick the door open and immediately duck and roll to my right. As the next person comes in behind me I let out my battle cry to distract any opponents and get them focused on me. I shield bash the first foul thing to approach me and slash the next one with my blade!" more likely to survive and discover the lost treasure of the Merchant Barons of Bressdore. Or whatever.

My gaming is inspired by American Comic Books, Japanese Animation and a variety of action/adventure movies. Smarts are indeed a prime factor in successfully getting through an adventure session but the smarts of a coward are not nearly as cool as those of a hero.

Be a hero. Take a chance. Try something crazy.

Kick down a door.

Barking Alien


  1. What the hell??? I thought I was getting an old school Superman/Batman comic!

    But I gotta agree with your sentiments, Bark.

  2. Sorry Bruno, my post titles can be (purposely)deceiving. ;)

    I've recently come across the phenomenon of a player who is overly careful and intricate about describing their actions before committing to anything. No doubt this is the result of years of GMs who were 'out to get' him and his old group. I've see this before many times.

    My problem lies in the fact that I don't do that and never did and none of the other players act this way. In addition, this one player doesn't seem to take the hint that the others are more effective in the adventure because they take risks in addition to using their heads. Its a tad frustrating to me and to him as well I'd wager.

  3. I have been reading your blog for a while and this post finally won me. I would love to play with a GM like you, instead of getting that "you are being inefficient" look I sometimes get from my mates. I like to keep things moving, both as a player and as GM, so I agree completely with you: turtling should get you in more trouble than bold action, just because it is boring.

    Congratulations for your blog!

  4. Thank you Valerius. I really appreciate that comment and I welcome you to Barking Alien. Stay tuned for more!