Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour

I've enjoyed these two recent posts from Oddysey over at How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less. She discusses several things that I've been curious about and that I share her concerns with, such as gaming using Skype, Wave or some similar situation where I can't see my players faces (personally I don't think I could run that but more on that in a moment) and playing when you're usually the GM.

Personally, I've been a player more over the past year or so than I have in the last fifteen and I must say...I despise it. I'm just not cut out to play one character and not doing what I prefer to be doing, which is basically constructing a universe. I find running a PC a little like being a kid with a small box of crayons when I used to being one of the art directors for a major motion picture studio. Where are all my tools?! Given the chance I'd much rather GM than play on a ratio of a thousand to one.

Now running a game and not being able to see my players or them me, well, frightens me a little. Part of what makes me a good GM (and I am a good GM damn it) is my body language. I talk with my hands, make weird faces, jump around and reference things in the real world area we're playing in. As a matter of fact, during a 6-8 hour game I rarely sit for more than two or three minutes at a time and I only do that three or four times during a game. On Skype or the like, all that is lost.

I'm a very visual person and I can also gage how well the game is going by the look in my players' eyes. If I can't see they're eyes, or any other part of their faces for that matter, I think I'd be at a major disadvantage.

One of the elements that struck home and gave me quite a chuckle was this line, right at the start of the first post...

"On Thursday night Tim Jensen succeeded in his long-running attempt to get me to play some kind of hippy indie game with a session of In A Wicked Age on Wave."

So yeah, I guess I'm a hippie. Feels like with the whole OSR thing I've missed the boat. I'm 41 and I've been gaming since I was 8 years old. That means I started in 1977. One would assume that would place me in the 'old school' but I lost interest in the games that make up this renaissance back in the mid-to-late eighties. I'm all about the new and the different. I'm also all about no-prep pick up games and trying to see if I game I haven't tried might just replace one of my favorites as...well...a new favorite I guess. Faery's Tale Deluxe sort of did that (houseruled a bit of course).

Anyway, great posts Oddysey. Keep on truckin'.

Barking Alien


  1. Regarding this good GMing thing. If my players are building dice towers or napping on my couch, well, is that good or bad?

    I, too, am intrigued by the idea of gaming via Wave.

  2. Good is relative and I'm not one of those GMs who tells other GMs how to do it 'right' (gag- bleh).

    All I know is that one of my groups is full of players who text me twice a week on average wanting to know when the next game is. The other group comes from 2 to 3 states to make it to our games.

    I must be doing something right. lol