John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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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
Tags: d&d, gaming, ghostbusters, pathfinder

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