To mitigate or not to mitigate…

Discussion in 'RPG Discussion' started by shalaban, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. shalaban

    shalaban Chevalier

    As a Player or Game Master, what type of Game do you like?

    Do you like a game where the story and charter development is the first priority? A game where the Game Master has to fake some die rolls, bend some rules, and give brakes to Players; just so long as it is in the interest of the Players and to further game/story development.


    Do you like a game where simulation (BTB rules GMing) and the winds of change (the dice stand as they are) are the first priority? A game where the GM pulls no punches and rolls as much of the dice as he can in front of the Players, adhere to the rules, and if the dice or decision making go badly will let the events unfold without mitigation; just so long as the game is balanced and the Players are never railroaded in any way.

    I think most people would try to balance the two (like freedom & security) but if you fall on one side or had to pick which one would it be?
  2. chgowiz

    chgowiz Footpad

    I subscribe to the third choice - the Rick Krebs rule choice - "Have fun!" (how you get to fun is either from #1 or #2)
  3. Dale

    Dale Administrator

    I don't let the rules get before the storyline. So, I see myself as the first option. I won't punish a character/party for a crappy die roll that ends their life/campaign. If they did something to deserve their untimely end- then so be it.

    If they die as the storyline unfolds, then it is how the story ends for that character. Hopefully it was a good enough tale that the Bards will sing about it.
  4. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    Actually, I'd say your first line pretty much sums it up - preference one way or the other is really up to what is most enjoyable for you and your players.

    In my own games, it depends what level of the game you look at. Generally, I'll have one to three "storyline" threads available to the players (up to them to explore or ignore); the ones the players show interest in will come and go (one to three games that are related, then one not - or the reverse mix depending). To break things up, there are standalone adventures or two-parters that are more sandbox type designs.

    I also like to throw "easter eggs" into campaigns - for instance, a henchman who was abandoned for dead in a dungeon by the 2nd lvl players shows up when the party is three levels higher - only now their embittered former henchman is the flunkie of a villain and looking to settle the score.

    Personally, I'm ok with either approach so long as the Dm and players are flexible in the interest of the fun factor. While the dice should stand, I have an understanding with my players I reserve the right to - rarely, and only when justified - adjust a ruling. Conversely, if a player comes up with a plausible and brilliant idea during play, I am not going to shoot them down "just because" they for example don't have a skill for it. This is one reason I have come to appreciate AD&D 1e and pre-skill system BECM - while defined skill systems may help some players, I find they also often stifle creative player ideas. In my experience, many players will self edit their ideas based on the system (in 3rd ed for example, a player might not attempt to have their PC swing on a rope across a room in a tavern brawl because they lack the appropriate skill, whereas in AD&D 1e the same player might remember the rope described and just go for it).

    With regard to letting the dice stand, I have to say that some of my fondest memories resulted from that approach - including one time when as a player we had a TPK, but for such a ridiculous chain of events we all had a great laugh about it.


Share This Page