Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Change of Plans

I deleted my previous post because after follow up research, analysis, and reflection, I don't believe the campaign story I planned to post was really the one I wanted to tell. 

I am looking to describe the first campaign I ran that I feel illustrates my approach to Gamemastering (and RPG gaming in general) and I don't think the one I was going to use was really the first one.

It's difficult to recount such a milestone because usually there isn't one. A person doesn't normally change their style and thinking suddenly but rather gradually over time. It most often occurs in small increments and builds up to a preferred approach after years of trial and error. 

That said, by 1982 - the year I first purchased my own games with my own money - I'd already had 5-6 years of gaming experience. I was probably already doing things a bit outside the normal of course (as noted in my previous post) but I don't know I thought about what I was doing ahead of time. I didn't sit down to design a campaign and say, "OK, I am going to handle this one differently from how I did the previous one. I am going to go at this with a completely new attitude. Here's what I'll do..."

I know that running Superheroes and Science Fiction (particularly Star Trek) as often as I did/do, and running Dungeons & Dragons and its ilk as little as I have, definitely influenced my perspective on tabletop gaming very early on. It is surely the origin of why such things as Player Character Rewards (discussed recently) and 'Realistic' Tactical Combat don't really interest me that much. 

When did it happen though? When did I stop caring about things like Initiative, Encumbrance, Range in inches on a Hex Map...wait...I never cared about those things. I mean I used them (OK not really the later two) but I didn't get all excited about any of that crap.

Could it be there is no origin story to be found? No single campaign I can point to at all because doing things the way I wanted to do them and see them done was always there? 

This will take some more thought but for now I am going to talk about other things.

Some old things, some new things, some tried-and-true things, and some experimental things. 

Stay tuned.

Barking Alien

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