|Only not that charming.|
Slipped in there is a bit about how players sometimes ignore what the GM is proposing in terms of tenor and theme for a campaign and create something totally out of whack with the campaign. I know exactly what he is talking about. It's the guy who wants to play a werewolf in Vampire the Masquerade (happened) or a no-costume mercenary in a four-color superhero game (also happened, although it worked out). Here's his quote:
Now, here's his contrast with how things used to go:Depending on the group, I need a unanimous vote. I don't want to leave anyone out, especially the regulars. If I get a positive majority vote, with one, or two naysayers, I will do the following: If those who vote against are regulars, I'll drop the idea, and go for something else. If those who vote against the idea are not regulars, I'll either try to convince them to give it a shot, or hold the idea off until I can assemble those who liked the idea on their own.This process right here eliminates the vast majority of my coolest game ideas from reaching the table. Getting four to six people to agree on a single concept is tough these days.
Now, ignoring the possibility that Adam might be suffering some rose-colored glasses about the past (or ruby quartz, to continue the X-Men theme), what he seems to be suggesting is that as a grown adult, he's having to work more with his players to get them on board, and losing something about his creative je nes sais quoi in the process.I began with a concept, genre, or specific game I wanted to run. It could be teens who are going to school to be superheroes, Anime Action/Romance Sitcom, or my particular Blast City Blues setting for Teenagers from Outer Space.I met up with my group, having told them only that I want to start a new campaign. I then pitched them the idea. Everyone would say, "Cool!", or "Great!", maybe even an "Awesome!"We would immediately begin creating characters. Everyone would create a character that fit in perfectly with the basic idea.
|Man, Cyclops is a jerk.|
When you're a teenager, you're still experimenting with your identity, still trying out different things and generally being open to new experiences. A friend comes along and says, "hey, I just saw this new Japanese television show" or "I just ate this weird food" or "I just picked up this RPG that looks really cool," the teenager, I think, is more likely to give it a go. And more likely to view it kindly in the process. Don't believe me? Just go back and re-experience something you thought was really cool as a teenager, e.g. a book, a movie, or even an RPG. I will bet that in at least some of those instances, the adult experience is not as enjoyable as the teenage one.
And why is this? Because as adults we have done our experimentation and we know what we like. We are less likely to take risks, especially with something as precious and rare as our free time. We are also less of a follower (although sadly at times, not enough) and are more critical of following people into the unknown. That seems sad at some level, but the upside is that as adult you're probably making some more mature, sensible decisions about your own contentment, and are probably being more responsible in the process.
But RPG's are low-risk activities, in my opinion. I think that players should be more willing to trust GM's when they say they have a great idea, and should risk more in life when it comes to things that might open up their horizons. And I'm saying this as a person who has sat through some clunker gaming sessions run by GM's who were clearly enjoying themselves. But I also understand that to get adults to play, with their more critical perspectives and their less copious free time to waste on shots in the dark, you need to work with them as a GM to get their buy-in as well.
I hope this makes sense. Comments welcome.