Friday, 20 April 2012

Laying down the GM law

I'm not that much of a stickler for rulebooks and I'm more than happy to just drop a quick interpretation of a rule just to keep the game flowing. Now that I'm running a game of Pathfinder - in which the players are well versed in the rules and very good at min-maxing - I need to be on my toes a little more, and I'm finding great aid from my friend Jason who knows the rules inside out. I'm running the game and the basics of the system, but for the detail and nitty-gritty I'm turning to Jason. Up to yet it's working out really well and having the burden of rules knowledge removed from my shoulders means I can concentrate more on an entertaining game.

So that's the rules taken care of. My only situation now is controlling the five-man gaming group.

Way back when I wouldn't dare get upset or make any attempt to stamp out player distractions. If I was narrating a scene I'd stop talking, allow the player to finish what they were saying (whether it had anything to do with the game or not) and then continue. Mobile telephones? I'd wait patiently. Silly comments and stories? I'd wait patiently. I was of the mindset that we were all there to play a game and have fun and any comments from me would run that fun.

Sadly, me not saying anything was ruining my fun. I'd put a lot of effort into creating a gameworld, adventures, a story and NPCs just to watch them all go to waste. I hated being interrupted, and I hated the story going off track. After writing a lot of blog posts about my experience with games and my year-by-year memoirs last year I've realised that maybe, just maybe, I'm being a bit too soft.

Recently my gaming group had become a little more unruly than normal and it was getting me down. After a break for a couple of weeks I've decided that I'll try a much more authoritive stance

Either they'll be intense, genre-busting epic games of awesomeness or my players will hate me forever.