Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cross-Post: How'd it Go?

Like this? I haven't read the books in
a while... now I feel like reading them
This blog post from the Red Mouser came up in my feed reader, and it is relevant to my interests. I prefer playing a type of meta-game when GMing, where, like Chekhov's gun, things don't exist unless they are necessary. I take it a step further, and like Haruhi Suzumiya, things that are necessary don't exist until the players hint that they want them to exist.

This is a problem for me when I have players that don't give feedback on what is happening.  More-so towards the beginning of a new campaign then any other time. And that, I can understand can be a bit counter intuitive for some players that have an ingrained instinct to "hold reservation and applause until the end." This is not the case for an RPG which isn't a one man show. The most thoughtful thing you can do is let the GM know what you think about the campaign!
When I GM a game, I'm not reading you a fanfic, a movie manuscript, a play, or a video game that takes place along a very long hallway from start to finish where every once in a while you throw dice to break up the monotony. In those situations, yes, it makes sense to be polite and not immediately say, "This book isn't for me," a chapter in.
Rather, I'd like it to be something a bit more participatory where my players let me know, "I want to become [...] so that I can [...] because [...]" And each of these parts are important. And let me be real frank here, "I want to be the strongest man in the world" or "I want to see new things" is not much more helpful than "Whatever everyone else wants to do, the story is fine."
Fine. Fine is a terrifying word for me to receive in feedback. Fine is lukewarm. Fine is tolerable. I don't want to be fine. I want my players to help me exceed fine, so that I can have more fun, because only doing what I want to do will eventually dry me out, and then I can't GM GURPS anymore.
Well, this turned a little editorial, and I dunno what I'm trying to get at. I guess it is a little in the vein of those talks a bit ago where people described player behaviors they find unacceptable... but being indecisive is not as bad as arguing with the GM over issues that are said and done, I think? It's not this gregarious sin of cheating with the dice or rules lawyering, so maybe I should count my blessings that it is one of my worst problems, so any advice on how to engage the player's feedback is appreciated.


  1. "This is not the case for an RPG which isn't a one man show." Well put, this really captures the essence of what I was trying to say and you sum up here very clearly. About the questions you ask your players: do you ask them after each session? Or only after they've reached some specific point in the story?

    1. I try to ask them at the end of each session, and especially when I get this feeling that the game isn't as engaging as it could or should be.


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