Monday, June 19, 2017

Summertime Gaming, Part Two

There are times when I think to myself, "you know, you could have done a better job being a GM that time."  Last Friday was one of those times.

In my defense, after literally having no one show up for the previous June session, I went from having four, to three, to two, then back up to four people signed up for last Friday's session.  When it was down to two, I scuttled the whole thing and stopped planning.  Then, literally the day of the gaming session, two people pop up as planning to attend, and I'm scrambling for content.

And with a game whose dice mechanic can be as jammy as Bash can be, that meant that we were done way earlier than I thought, and I didn't have much in the way of fallback material.  Like I said, a less-than-superlative job there.

It reminded me why I dislike doing "story" style gaming, because there is always the issue of timing: sometimes you get four-fifths of the way through the story and you've gone way long in the session, meaning that you either press onward or save the one-fifth for the next session, which won't take up the whole time.  Or you speed your way through and end up with nothing to do, like this time.  Rarely are you so on-track that you finish a story at the end of the session at exactly the right time.

Dragging a single story over multiple sessions also has the huge handicap of my inconsistent group.  You start the adventure with one party, end it with another, many of whom don't have the background or emotional investment.

I would consider dropping the whole thing in favor of a more open, exploration-themed campaign, but a lot of people like Bash and their characters, despite how the campaign sometimes plays out. As a solution, I'm considering trying to run multiple sub-plots instead of a single story.  If I stockpile those plots, I can toss them in whenever is convenient.  I also want to do more with the PC's backstories--I rarely ever explore them in the context of the campaign, and plenty of the players have put some work into them.

Hopefully that means that I can continue to keep this campaign humming throughout the summer and into the Fall.  Thanks for reading, and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Supers is easier than some genres as far as explaining in-universe why some characters change between sessions, but it can still mess things up for the GM. You can tie the plots and complications more to the villains so that it's less player group specific but that doesn't help explore character backgrounds as you mention.

    I used to keep a chart or at least a list that covered each PC and their ties to other NPC's, villains, and organizations. If somebody dropped in it helped to be able to tie some connection of theirs to whatever was going on in that session.