Day 9: Fun for you, fun for me

August 5, 2009

I get that some people would rather get their D&D on in a world of dwarves, elves, and orcs.  The “why can’t I play a dwarf?” question will probably come up.

And the first response is pretty lame: “Because this world doesn’t have dwarves.”

So those people might say “But you’re the GM, it’s your world, why can’t you just add them in?”

And basically, the answer is fun.

One thing a lot of GMs do, and I’ve certainly been guilty of, is trying to make everybody happy. And I mean EVERYBODY.  That includes vocal players expressing preferences, as well as potential players that can’t really work with the scheduling, and (shudder) forum posters.  But when GM stries to make all these people happy, things get fuzzy.  Next thing you know, the GMs lose sight of the fact that they’re sacrificing things that make the game fun for the GM.

In a game with a strong GM role, the game NEEDS to be fun for the GM.

Now, in my case, that means that the world is a little different.  I’ve played a LOT of fantasy roleplaying games in my day, and read far more than my share of fantasy novels. So when it comes to elves and dwarves building grudging friendships while teaming up with humans against orcs and their nasty friends, I think I’ve had my fill for life.

So when I make a campaign, even if it’s fairly low-definition, I want it to have a particular style.  This time, that means a kind of dusty Gunslinger bandito humans teamed up with displaced Victorian tieflings crossed with a bit of my favorite video games (Fallout 2 and Diablo II leap to mind).  That’s a world that I’m pretty excited to play in.

If you are jumping into the roles of a Waster or a Tiefer, then you’re building off of the stuff I think is going to be the most fun.  I’m making a pitch, and saying “hey, I could totally be a Waster ranger” – that’s you stepping up to bat.

In my experience, that gives us the momentum that really matters at the game table.

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