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Back to Gaming

Monday and Tuesday evenings I played Living Dragonstar online.  Done in text-based chat rooms, I find a fair proportion of my gaming is online these days.  It certainly gives me a wider population of people to play with, something that's fairly necessary with niche campaigns.

Ghaaa.  It's 10 or so hours of my life (things being slower online, especially combat) that I'll never get back.  From start to finish, the scenario dragged us through by the nose, with everything happening in the "boxed text".  Awful is really too kind a word.

The players were fine (and fun) and the GM did his best, but he was hamstrung by a scenario that wanted to be a movie, and required us to sit back and watch.  Nothing we could do was of any importance, and our mission failure was set in boxed text. And not the first such that I've played in this campaign.  The campaign director assures me that these are in the past, and I hope that is true.

Which brings me, I suppose, to a discussion point.  As someone who's edited a bunch of scenarios (upwards of 30) and written not a few of my own, there are certain things I consider to be absolute rules.  Never tell the players what they are doing or thinking.  When reviewing an encounter, the most important question is: What can the players accomplish in this scene?  It's not a movie or a novel -- the audience isn't a passive observer.  One of the things that makes role playing special is that it is participatory and contributory.  Without the players, there is no story.  You can plan for probable actions, but should never force the players into a single path. 

Not that I haven't broken these rules myself, but at least I use them as guidelines.

Back to an earlier entry -- Investment, Validation, Reward.  That's what it's about.  And fun, let's not forget fun.  To quote Joss Whedon via rickj "We need not have heroes so much as see ourselves as heroes."

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