- You really, absolutely, definitely, unquestionably, indisputably, do not need a detailed character background before play begins. In fact, all you really need is a name, a class, stats, and some equipment, and you're good to go - because within five minutes of the game beginning you will without fail find your character beginning to take on a personality of his own. This strange and almost mystical emergence of character through play is one of the best things about the hobby, and it amazes me that people have been so determined, for decades, to kill the concept.
- You only need to roll the dice when the outcome of an action cannot be decided by agreement or fiat. In 2-and-a-bit hours of play (short, I know, but my motto is "always leave them wanting more") there was exactly one dice roll, and it was by me to see if there was a random encounter (there wasn't). Otherwise, everything happened either through consensus or a bit of fiat, no eyebrows were raised, and things progressed entirely adequately. Dice are a last resort, to be used for adjudication where something has to be contested. And, in fact, dice are a thing which good players will do their damnedest to avoid, because dice mean you may end up losing hit points. When your character has 1 hit point, as Kelvin's does, that can have serious consequences.
- If you let players loose in a sandbox, they'll do things that you as the GM never would have expected, and for you these moments are the most enjoyable of all. Why several generations of GMs have been told that their job is to get the players from A to Z, instead of giving their players an alphabet and telling them to come up with their own words, is one of the great mysteries of the modern age. Probably.
Friday, 21 October 2011
I ran the first session of my Google+ Yoon-Suin campaign last night, with -C, Jeremy, Kelvin and Anthony (who I don't think has a blog) in attendance, and a good time was had by all. (Well, by me, anyway.) Although there were some technological issues, I think everybody got into the swing of things and, as a group of strangers, we gelled relatively well. This, as we all know, is usually enough to go 75% of the way towards good gaming in and of itself.
I was also reminded of three genuine "OSR life lessons" during the session, which (despite my diplomatic assertions to the contrary) only serves to confirm in my mind that this circle of 1000 or so people, who come for good or ill under the auspices of "the OSR", have discovered or created something close to the One True Way of role playing games. At least, for our own purposes. These life lessons are: