Clearing the Cobwebs

So, after the shutdown of my home group in August, I’ve been continuing to work on correcting the issues at hand.  On top of developing a Code of Conduct for the table to follow, I’ve continued to work on new material for Shadowrun and 7th Sea.  Some is for my business, some for future conventions and some for eventual home play.

Last week, I finally blew the dust off my dice and we played our first game of 7th Sea in a long while, as well as it being the first session of RPGs I’d run since the shutdown.  The game went really well and everyone had a good time, without fighting or anyone coming away upset.  Even my wife, who doesn’t game with me that often anymore, joined in and had a good time using her old Fate Witch for the first time in years.

A strong, positive return to the table has given me some hope that an eventual home campaign of Shadowrun will actually work.  That with some diligence and some guidelines, my players can work together and create an enjoyable experience for everyone at the table, myself included.  While I don’t claim that my group’s code of conduct will work for every group, I do think that having some restrictions in place ultimately will help shape a group into a working unit.  I was of the mindset that I shouldn’t limit my players’ creativity by imposing restrictions on concepts and such… but with such disparate and conflicting characters, there was no team coherency.  Being too laissez faire can be almost as destructive as restricting character options.

I hope that other groups that struggle with team in-fighting and player conflict can take something from my experiences to help their own table.

  • Granting your players the freedom to create interesting characters is key to getting them invested in the game… but boundaries are still required
  • Find players with compatible play styles.  I realize not everyone is as fortunate as I am for the number of eager players… but if a player is disrupting the game by derailing the style of game the majority (including the GM) want to play, it may be time to trim the group
  • The enjoyment of the GM is equal to the enjoyment of the players.  I ran games for years out of the “obligation” to entertain my friends, rather than the creative exercise I initially got into RPGs for.  GMs should enjoy the game as well!

I’m enjoying the creative process for the first time in what feels like a very long time and it boiled down to relieving some of the pressure I was putting on myself to produce, as well as lifting the dread of what social mess would arise at the table that night.  So, to my fellow GMs, whatever system you enjoy:  run your group with a firm hand (without being a tyrant), give your players freedom to explore your universe and together we will create new worlds to explore!

Game On!

~ by 1nsomniac on December 6, 2018.

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