Monday, August 13, 2018

RPGaDay Challenge 2018 - Day 13


My play style, or at the very least my outlook on what RPGs are all about, started very differently from that of most of my contemporaries (people who started gaming in the late 70s). 

I've told my 'origin story' before so I won't go over it again here. Instead I will say that when I started in the hobby, the focus of my games as both a player and GM was on story and characters first, cool action scenes in interesting environments second, and rules third. 

As I played with more diverse groups of people I sadly learned that they weren't that diverse at all. The gaming world outside my own circles seemed to largely shame an outlook quite the opposite of my own. These other groups focused more on the rules, and more on the simplistic dynamic of kill, acquire, move on to the next less. Other gamers appeared focused less on the PCs, a plot, world-building, or the general cinematic flair my players and I had grown accustomed to. 

I decided at some point that when I was the Gamemaster and in charge of the campaign - which turned out to be the case more often than not - I would be a player's GM in addition to maintaining my own interests. I would keep the PCs the focus of the campaign and its story, with the various plots elements leading back and/or somehow connected to the player characters.

This worked very well for a very long time and I became quite popular within a wide number of groups. I also took flack from Old School Gamer acquaintances who saw me as soft, fudging the dice too often, and too 'free wheeling' (yes, that was an actual criticism I received). Mind you, all of these negative comments came from gamers who had observed my games or heard about them second hard. I never heard such complaints from anyone actually in my games. 

Now, years and years later, I have evolved into a state I am not completely satisfied with. I feel as if I have actually been in a state over the last several years in which the slights of the past ring true. I am too easy on the PCs in my games. Because the player characters and the story are paramount, I don't want arbitrary death or players disheartened by it. In the past I maintained a philosophy of making the players pay for their successes. Be creative, smart, and not boring or cowardly and you will likely survive. Now I think I just go too easy on them. 

How has my play evolved? I'm not certain it hasn't devolved a bit. 

Something I need to bare in mind.

Barking Alien

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