Thursday, February 14, 2019

What Is Best in GMing?

What is best in GMing?

To crush your players, see them deivien before you and hear the lamentations of their women!

No. For me it is worldbuilding.

I love piecing together a world that other people can get into. A place that is vibrant and detailed enough that players want to explore it. To a large extent, that is why I am a fan of running sandbox games.

The first game I ever GMed was a science fiction affair set in an outpost on a hell world using Alternity. I didn't know squat about running a game then, and it was basically a dungeon crawl with laser guns, but at its core, it was homemade. Not that there was much truly original about it. I was young.

Since then, I've continued to make settings for games with the intent of watching the players romp through them, break them, change them, and otherwise put their touch on them. I love that part - bringing in the chaotic element and watching it all develop.

It brings a spark of life to the setting when more than one person is involved. I think it is the element of the unknown presented by the players' actions. If only one person does all of the worldbuilding, the setting often loses that sense of the unexpected that crops up throughout history - a relative handful of Hussars defeating defeating two hundred thousand Ottoman Turks, the US not taking the obvious plot hook and joining WWII until the GM gets annoyed and railroads them, Caesar seeking glory in Gaul. These all sound like PC actions to me. And whether or not history had a good GM doesn't matter. It's that other people were involved that makes it interesting.

So where is this rant going? No where really. I'm just saying I like worldbuilding and I like sandboxes.

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