I’ve been soliciting player feedback on how the campaign has been going so far for Endangered Species. From what I can tell, most of the players feel that I’m still playing things relatively nice, and that this campaign has been a lot more toned-down from my older games of Mage. That struck me as particularly interesting, and I was forced to evaluate the threat level for the Mage game.
I’ve mentioned time and again that there are a whole bunch of opponents for Mages. Add the peculiar situation of the setting having no more Mages, and the stakes are even higher. I think it’s time for me to really roll up my sleeves and get to work with the multiple plot threads that I’ve used in my other games. So far most of the games I’ve run for this campaign would work as a series of one-offs, with little to no plot hooks that would last beyond the immediate.
One player in particular has likened the change in my game as feeling like I was pulling punches, and challenged me to up the ante a little bit and make the game feel more dangerous. It’s a valid critique, and one that I hope to address without going overboard and ending up with another game where everyone feels nothing but the crushing inevitability of defeat.
It’s a tricky thing, to balance threat with hope, but one that every GM has to do. I think that in my case, I’ve been coasting through this campaign, something that I’ll need to rectify… the players have already demonstrated a strong ability to tackle what I throw at them, so perhaps I really ought to make things just a little tougher, just to see them sweat a bit.