You Don’t Have to Do It All
A lot of people who want to run games get intimidated. (In some games they are a DM or Dungeon Master, some a GM or Game Master. Many games have different titles for the same role—the storytelling referee.)
One reason people get intimidated is if the players go “off book” and maybe stop into a tavern and you have to come up with a quick name or a have a bartender ready to serve drinks.
In one of my favorite games, Dusk City Outlaws, gives the players the burden of coming up most of the creative work.
Let’s just say that the players want to ask around seeing if anyone has seen a certain someone. Maybe they have a wanted poster or some kind of basic description. Instead of coming up with all the information, all the people, all the descriptions, you put it in the players hands. It might go like this:
Player 1: Alright, I rolled a big success, but I scored a “disadvantage.” (In this system, you can succeed, but have a bit of an advantage or a disadvantage.) So what now?
GM: Alright. The disadvantage is that you are going into a bit of a rough part of town. Who is the person you’re looking for?
Player 1: Well, since it’s in a rough part of town, I guess they’d working a gambling hall?
GM: Yeah, and so what is the person like?
Player 1: They are actually a bouncer for the gambling hall. They don’t want to snitch about their customers, but I bet I can entice them with a bit of coin. The person’s name is Thunk.
GM: Sounds fine and the name of the place?
Player 1: Hmmm. Skull and Coin?
GM: Great. Here we go.
The GM has enough information to fill out and the PC is just coming up with the basic information. The GM can change, alter or ignore any of it. There’s a bit of a cognitive load when it comes to game, especially one as creatively demanding as role-playing games.
Figure out what to offload on to your players so that you can keep the game rolling (and I always had veto power so they wouldn’t come up with terrible names. I’M LOOKING AT YOU KEENAN!)
The Struggle to Read More
I don’t think I’m far off from this assumption from all of you, but correct me if I’m wrong: you like to read. I know, crazy, right? Most people I’ve met who love a board game or RPG love a good book.
I’ve been looking at my unread books and I’m wondering when I lost the habit of reading books because, I’ll be honest, I used to crush on books. Crush.
But right now I’ve been reading a book, the same book for over a month. And it’s a normal sized book!
So I’ve done something a bit drastic. I’ve been noticing that my time has been sunk into video games, namely Dead Cells. It is my jam.
But my other goals have been suffering so I made a difficult yet much needed decision.
I took my Xbox controller to work on Monday and I’m leaving it there until Friday. If I don’t meet my reading and writing goals by Friday, well, it looks like it’s staying there over the weekend.
So if you have a video game propensity, give it a shot. I’ll report back on the results.
Alright! See you next week!