Archive for July 18, 2011


Well, here we are with the Monday after, Sunday was for the Actual Play report, but here is when we sit down, think about what had happened in the session and try to figure out what went right, what went wrong, and what could be improved.

Overall the Hollow Earth Expedition campaign started off well, and the players seemed pretty happy with how things turned out.  In running the session, there were a few things that I tried pulling off that could have helped make the session better:

  • In Medias Res – I started off the session with the team in the thick of some dangerous situation before rolling back into a flashback that lasted the rest of the session.  It wasn’t a big thing, but it does get people thinking along the correct lines and focuses attention to the game.
  • Rapid Scene Changes – I didn’t dwell, or bother too much about introspection.  The moment the players were in a scene, something happens.  A bomb goes off, someone gets shot, the stakes are raised.  Contrary to some of the more horror-oriented campaigns I run, there’s not a lot of empty scenes.  Once the players are done figuring out what they need to know, then I shift the scene.
  • Pulling back on the Investigation – It’s impossible to get rid of investigation entirely in a game, but rather than focus on the slow burn of a mystery, I let players find the clues and make the rolls and carry on.  It’s easy enough to find direction in the game, and I think that was very helpful in keeping the game moving at a brisk pace.

Of course, everything’s not all roses and sunshine.  I screwed up a few things and had to make a few adjustments on the fly.

  • Learn the system better – Ubiquity is quick and easy, but since this was my first game I had a few rules blind spots and gameplay slowed for rules lookups.
  • Show don’t tell – I was dropping out of show mode and more and more into tell mode more often than I was happy about, but thankfully this is something that can be remedied with a little more focus.
  • Bring meds – I had a migraine during game night, and that wasn’t fun for anyone.  I really ought to have started earlier, but only if I had been ready with some headache medications.

Overall I find it interesting that trying to emulate the genre altered my usual GMing style.  Pulp has me switching up faster, changing the scene to the next more interesting scene, and not really bothering as much to ask players what their normal day is like.  The game is faster, punchier and perhaps less introspective than the ones I’m used to running, but I will admit that it’s a great break from my usual fare, and I think that I’ve finally found the game that will work best for me even if I’m stressed out in weekdays.