Sunday, 1 June 2014

Give them what they want.

I had a mini epiphany last night, its mini because it was already something I was consciously aware of - albeit something I didn't feel comfortable with or do all that often. I think.

Last night during my regular meatspace game, my players had tracked their evil counterparts* to a long forgotten temple, built at the end of the last great age. Huge, Labyrinthian, Deep and Deadly would all be apt monikers.  But having just gone through a patchy beginning of the year where we weren't able to play as often as we would have liked, I was very conscious that we all wanted the story to move forward.

So, half thinking out loud I ventured "How do you guys want explore this dungeon? Old-school crawl or Straight to the epic parts?" The general consensus was, "Take us to the good stuff". And I did, and it when really well. I'd thought in the past that giving players the ability to choose what we fast forward and what we watch would somehow break their immersion, Having read the organised play packets I wasn't sure that the montage technique would be a good fit for my group, I'm happy to report however that this is not the case.

I described how how they picked and wormed their way through the vast deep, they made rolls for navigation, staving off fatigue, avoiding a deadly spear gauntlet and avoiding the denizens of the place. In the end they came away with greater plot exposition, sapped resources and some cool imagery that should stay with them - and the best part was packing it all into a solid hour and a half.

I think it's easy to fall into a trap as a GM whereby you attempt to second guess what your players want, I've tried to address this by occasionally asking "what would you like to see next week?" or "what went well this week?" From now on i'll add "How do we handle this?" to my repertoire.

*They play both the good characters and the BBEG muscle, they can visit locations with bad guys long before they reach them with their main good guys and have been playing an overlapping game of cat and mouse through familiar and reworked locales.


: If you like this check the other GM advice I've worked on here :