Holy new column, Batman! It’s time for a… new… uh… column.
I don’t know about you, but do you walk into a role playing game with friends and expect to tell a story? Are you getting together with people to help tell a collaborative story that gets everyone involved, where everyone has fun, and you look forward to expanding the adventure in the future? No? Well, then you experience what I experience.
What I have come to notice with my RPG experiences is that the players, as I am often the game master, want to “compete” with the GM rather than telling a story. Those players are often looking for a game session filled to the brim with combat and they’re looking to dominate said combat without any regard, whatsoever, for their fellow players. Yes, those are the players I often end up with and those are the exact players I’m looking to avoid for the future.
What I would really like to do is have everybody show up with a “rough idea” of what kind of player they have and then just enter into the story I want to tell in order to HELP ME TELL THE STORY. Why is that so difficult? Why don’t you want to play the way I want to play?
How can I find the type of player I’m looking for? I don’t mind some combat, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want the entire experience to revolve around 37 seconds of combat that happens to take 4.5 hours to get through. Yes, that is normally how my gaming sessions feel because the players are competing with me, as the GM.
Here’s the scoop, folks. I want to have a collaborative storytelling experience that makes the players walk away from my game saying “wow, that was really awesome.”
What about coming to a Vampire game with the sole intent of really just politically orienting your character into a better position? How about your superhero character develops that relationship with that hot reporter you’ve wanted to date instead of pounding the crap out of your nemesis for the 30th time? Is that something you’d be interested in playing? If so, hit me up!
And I’d really like to be a player, folks.
I was introduced to Vampire the Masquerade, and by default the entire White Wolf Storyteller System, in December of 1994 (in Japan) and I’ve not played another gaming system since. Nope, not one other system. I also haven’t been a player in a game since 1997, when my primary gaming group was no longer playing… with me… mainly because I got out of the Navy. So, I have been a GM since 1997… ONLY.
If you want to have nothing but combat, I’m happy for you. Don’t involve me. If you want to war-game, great. Don’t ask me to come over. If you want to grind a quest through a dungeon, awesome. I don’t. I want to tell a story that is epic in scope, awesome in depth, and involves everyone who shows up to game.
It would be thrice as nice if I could PLAY that game, too.