Just highlighting other people's work today.
There is an excellent post over on Blog of Holding (aka the home of Dungeon Robber) about combat grinding is okay in video games but it feels boring in face-to-face group play . . . and how to spice things up with unique combats. It's really excellent, directly actionable advice. You can read this and change how you do your game right away with little effort and lots of results.
Repetitive battles in dnd
He says, "in DnD" but it's really "in tabletop gaming." GURPS fights are inherently individual and interesting, but that doesn't mean you can't make them better.
So I posted the other day about my observation that my preferred game pace (Fast, with a side helping of simplicity) doesn't match the preferred game pace of some of my players (varies, but includes slow, with a side helping of careful deliberation). Joseph Teller had an interesting take on it over on G+ - that's it is symptomatic of a larger style clash:
I disagreed, because I really think it's not such a big deal. My game isn't heading off a cliff - my gamers have been playing with me for ranging from a few years to 20+ years. We've lost a few people who either had schedules change or just decided the game wasn't for them, but that's happened over the years. More players were lost to "Good news, we're expecting!" than to "Sorry, this isn't for me." We have guys drive hours to game, people who stay overnight in the area to make game, etc. We'd have more players if we'd just play a little shorter so it was more conducive to their schedules. So I'm not seeing a train wreck coming. But it's interesting in two ways:
- for some groups, this might be true;
- just because you see part of the elephant, it doesn't mean you've seen all of the elephant.
By the latter I mean you see only a small portion of my gaming group's interactions. My choices of words might not accurately convey the full sense of our game play - it can even convey a completely opposite impression. I'm not impuning Joseph, here - he's reading my words and telling me what he sees from them. And it's quite possible what he's written will help others more than what I wrote!
Don't Ask, Just Be Cool
Aka, don't question the rule of cool, aka the more that is defined the less that is open to definition.
Joseph Mason observed that in his own case, the more questions you put to him about the circumstances means the less likely some crazy plan is to work.
As a believer in the Rule of Awesome, this really speaks to me. As someone who says a good questions show the GMs your intentions, this speaks to me. As someone who's likely to think better of allowing something wacky the longer I think about it, this speaks to me.
Seriously, ask questions. But know your answers close off as they open things up. And just know that in my games, it's better to try something crazy than to ask me, "will this crazy thing work?" The first might work; the latter probably will elicit the answer, "No, that's crazy." Not trying to be mean - it's just that the longer I have to consider the more doubts will enter my mind.