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Gamemaster Decision Time!

It's not accurate to say that nobody in our group ever runs games but me, but it's certainly true that I run the vast majority. And as such, I've become somewhat burned out on GMing lately and took a break for the past few weeks. But I know I'll miss gaming if the stretch continues, and it won't be long before the Q3 "never get to play 'cause I'm never at home" season starts, so I'm going to try to get going again for a bit while I can.

The big question is ... what to run? I've got half a dozen potential games in various states of "mid-scenario" that could be picked up, most notably Ghostbusters and Revenge of the Giants (Pathfinder). It's been forever since I did anything with my Star Wars Saga Edition game, as well.

And yet, despite all of this, what I'm most interested in as of this moment is doing a new, sandboxy, 1st-level Pathfinder game in a more freewheeling and open-ended setting than I usually do. My general tendency is to run "serious fantasy is serious business" games with an overarching plot, a fairly cohesive (if limited-scope) background and an eye toward dramatic action. What I'm sort of in the mood for, for a change, is to toss all that out and run some good old-fashioned dungeon-crawling, plot-light hackfests, with dungeon rooms that have trapped fountains for no reason and where orcs hang out in their caves waiting for players to come along.

I've noodled around before with the idea of sandbox play, but my experience with this group has generally been that if I don't put up a big flashing neon sign that says, "PLOT WENT THAT-A-WAY --->" they'll tend to flounder a bit. This isn't intended as a criticism, every group has their own style of play -- but it does sort of lead me to concern at the prospect of putting them all in a room and saying, "There is no plot until you make one." It might be that if they know that's how it's going to be from the get-go, they'll adjust their play style accordingly -- or it might be that we all sit around and stare at each other for an hour until I say "screw it" and have bugbears attack the tavern or something.

I'll have to contemplate the issue some. Players, what do you think?

-The Gneech


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
Do what I've done since 1973. ^_^ I've had plot-blind gamers before, so I designed a BUNCH of adventures 12-15 of them at any one time. That way there was SOMETHING they could do no matter what direction on the compass rose they went - PLUS 2-3 in any town [thieves guild or assassin's guilds doing things; a few somethings if they go in the sewers] - and some big established things in the local mountain range & swamp.

Always have a dozen overland random encounters planned out [so you have color along the way there] - and you can flesh out even more options for the group as they decide on a direction and head that way.

For some of the adventures - if they've been around long enough - have some OTHER group go and investigate/solve a problem and then brag about it. This works for D&D, Champions, CoC - you name it. It also gives extra life to your world - since other things are happening there and it's not all about the them. ^_^
Jul. 20th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm not in you group, but my group recently had a lot of fun with Godsmouth Heresy from Paizo, and we are not usually a module kinda group. Throw in City of Strangers for some background and you will be great.

Personally , I like reading about you SWSE stuff and have been thinking about getting out my own lately.
Jul. 20th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
I'd be all for it. I'm trying to get my brain in gear on a few things gaming related. 6_6 maybe somebody else could be healer, tho. :D

Jul. 20th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'd love to GM someday (if I ever get a group), but my problem is coming up with a starting point for campaigns (I've got a, IMO, great idea for Spycraft 2.0, but it's a higher level idea).

In regards to your problem, instead of having bugbears attack, have your players' drinks of choice end up drugged and have them wake up in the dungeon and have to adventure their way out. ;)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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