Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Mistakes As DM II

D&D is fun, mainly because of the people sitting around the table. Let me be clear, the game itself is less fun. If I have a bunch of people who hate each other around my table, then the game is not going to be fun. If all the characters die in one event, then that probably won’t be fun either. If one person is hogging all of the time insisting on pointless role-playing, then the game will not be fun. With all these and more, the uninitiated (with group fun) might wonder what fun there is to have. The danger lies in striving for or allowing fun in a light-hearted, funny way. This is my sin. I have allowed comedy to break up the tension on too many occasions. It started simply enough, with the players choosing overly silly names for their characters. Innocent fun I thought. But now the names are a big part of the chiding fun that players have. It is nearly impossible to have serious play with a character named ‘Mergatroid Balls.’ Now when something serious happens, the uncomfortable player makes up a funny turn of phrase about Mergatroid Balls. Where did my tension go? Other players have created all-encompassing back-stories for their characters. This allows them to break tension by pulling out some funny reference from the back-story, and inserting it into the play. This will happen more than you think. Fun is had because the people you are playing with are great, not because of some funny, in-game gimmick that you have created or allowed. You might laugh once at a silly reference, but remember what that encourages in the players around you. I have learned much. I can say without fear that my game will be more fun than ever now that the tension is back.

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