GM Mistakes: GM Metagaming

Silly term, I know. But in this case, it makes some wierd sense.

During our last game the PCs got curious about what happened to an NPC that used to travel with them. I started role playing the conversation.

The problem was, it was an interesting story.  Hayden, the NPC in question, was said to have tried to kill someone, fled and had died trying to escape. The PCs started to wonder why Hayden would do such a thing. They started asking where it happened and were now planning to investigate it. At this point I kinda blurted out “This is just a side story anyway, it’s not that important to the whole plot.”

Of course to some players that won’t be much of a deterrent, but I’m afraid I already gave away the metagame info that it’s not that important to the whole plot.

In hindsight I should not have said that. I might have been a bit wary that they were less interested in the over arching plot, which was the recovery of the stolen weapons of legacy. I kinda wanted them to focus on finding the weapons and worry about Hayden’s innocence later.  But looking back on it I thought I should just have let them roll with it.

I gotta ease up on the rails sometimes…

Published in: on September 19, 2008 at 1:15 am  Leave a Comment  

House Rule Update: RP Outside of Game, Flashbacks

Since we have limited time together, I thought it might be a good idea to allow role playing outside of game time.  You can do it with chat or email with the GM (or each other).

The last example was a dialogue from a chat I had with Iroel between the events of Session 11 and 12. It tells of a conversation between Iroel and Æleryn while the others were sleeping.  It had game impact as far as Iroel and his decisions were concerned, but did not penalize anyone for not being aware of it since it was a private conversation anyway.

Some tips:

  • It’s best to do this when we end the session in town or while you are resting.
  • Try to limit the physical effects of your role playing, especially concerning players who are not there. You can bond, argue quietly, sneak off in the middle of the night when no one is watching, or even steal ink from the wizard. Nothing grand such as blowing things up or stabbing the wizard in his sleep.
  • You can RP a flashback for your character.  I have one such conversation with Bam that I’ll post soon.

I’ll edit the conversation then post it here as a flashback or prequel to the next session. I’m thinking there should be bonus XP for this, but I still haven’t worked out the mechanics.

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Session 16 of The Story of a Handsome Ranger…and His Other Companions

Session 16, the big season finale, is finished.

I was rather hoping for a big bang. A memorable encounter that we would look back with fondness in the days to come.  Unfortunately, it did not go as well as I would have hoped.

To begin with, I was off my game. I had to call for a break in the middle of combat to regain my composure. I could not get in the groove of the game. I did not feel like describing the action. Part of me just wanted to roll the numbers and say hit or miss.

But my biggest disappointment was the way I ran Xeron. Xeron is a name the heroes have heard since they started the campaign.  The big bad guy.  Characters had placed diverted all their sorrows and anger towards Xeron, placing the blame on him for all their misfortunes: the death of innocent village folk, the loss of their companion, etc. The climax of this entire series of events.

I fell flat on the execution.

To begin with, he was a yuan-ti, a race that was supposed to be the embodiment of evil. He was supposed to be terrifying by his very nature. I even had a whole motivation bit worked out: His hatred for the human race for the centuries of persecution and killings of yuan-ti.

None of that came out. Nothing yuan-ti came out of that encounter. As far as combat was concerned, it was just another sorcerer.

I tend to lose the character/personality of the opponents once I get into combat. I guess its kinda hard for me to manage combat and at the same time juggle the individual personalities and motivations. I wish I could do combat banter, but its really hard to think of all these things while managing combat.

On the technical note, a  mistake I had was not giving Xeron his full repertoire of spells. In the module (yes I still call it a module) he had already cast some of his spells earlier that day. I should have known better than to follow that since the party had already grossly outnumbered. I guess I was kinda torn since the party has horribly low on spells as well. I had a hard time estimating what would make a good tough encounter that won’t TPK. I must have gone too easy on this one.

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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Published in: on September 16, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Comments (1)