Saturday, December 18, 2010

Game Master Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (GM-AD/AH)

I've decided I want a place to talk rpg's and gaming and other musing. Mostly I want to track my sliding interest in all things *rpg* hobby related. To me that's the table-top game like D&D [which is one of my most least played versions of rpgs], MMO's, Board Games and Minis. I'm also interested in seeing how long I can keep to the practice of making updates here.

I've run a lot of different table-top rpg games over the years.
I started as a Traveller rpg player and quickly graduated to running that game. Gamaworld as a GM and then into a great AD&D1e game with my friends Kevin and James. We did a whole-heaping-steaming-stack-load of games together.

From Stormbringer, Call of Cthulhu, Cyberpunk and even the hardly known but truly great game Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes (MSPE) which started my love of pulp rpg. I GMed maybe two thirds of these games.
And yes this was in the 80's which was when I was a teen, although I got into rpg's in 1979. When I was ten was when I got D&D.
My most successful game to-date was my Vampire: The Masquerade game. This was successful in large parts due to the willpower and humanity statistics in the game. We used this subsystem to make the characters act more like believable people - if you can say that about a Vampire. However I'm sure if  you're a role-player you can appreciate, often times the characters in a rolepaying game don't act at all like people in the real world do - they have none of the inhibitions, foibles or idiosyncrasies of a normal personality. Generally they are beyond heroic and iconic they are impervious. To emotion mainly but ultimately to connection with the game world and with us as participants in that story.

I want to clarify I'm the first to make the PC's feel special, heroic and a "cut-above" but I want them to have soul.  Pendragon go it too. Same with Ars Magica. But its only a handful of games which give playing support for this type of drama. A lot of people without a drama or literary brackgorund would either not think about injecting weakness into their character portrayal or find it to ...difficult on some level to bring to the game table.  Just see how some people grapple with aspects in FATE for an example of this.

This got me thinking... can you foster this at the game table with out subsystems to support it. As a whole I'm not in favor of subsystems but some "subsystems" start - at least I think they do - from advice on how to GM/Role-play.

So I'm going to look at what I can do to foster this and other role-playing at my table.

I should be interesting.

I'm running Shadowrun every fortnight at the moment. a) I don't like fortnightly games I think weekly is better  and b) I dont really feel invested in Shadowrun - which is odd because it plays well with my group and we have fun with it. But I just don't connect with it as a world. Yes I do think Elves and Dwarves are silly... "Waiter there are demihuman's in my sci-fi" ...  but I like the magic system its just so cool and well guns ... I love gun games.

What is really odd here is that I can "get" a superhero game which is in some ways even more kiddy the Shandowrun.

That brings me around the hidden underlying topic the next post which is all about what games we play when the group cant get together which as luck would have it is more often then not.

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