[Mage: the Awakening] Endangered Species Player Feedback: “Stop Pulling Punches”

Posted: April 24, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games

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.

  1. doctorether says:

    Man I know this feeling.

    Generally I tend to go a little to dangerous and that way it is easier to pull back a bit.

    Oh do you listen to Darker Days Radio by any chance?

    • Hey there doctorether!

      Yeah, I have a feeling I’ll have to go down that route.

      I’m afraid I haven’t had the pleasure of checking out the Darker Days Radio podcast, but I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t start. Do you have any episode recommendations for me to check out first?

      • doctorether says:

        Episode 34 where we talk a lot about Mage. Right now it is Mike and myself hosting since Mark left in #34. We also have two Darkling series going which cover certain topics in more detail. Hell if you ever want to it would be great to get you on the show.

        • Neat! I’ll check out Episode 34 first then.

          That said, I’d love to join you guys as a guest on the show, though we’d have to figure out how to schedule things as I live here in the Philippines (+8 GMT) and perhaps after my current bout of respiratory infection goes away (no use podcasting with a terrible voice and coughing fits.)

  2. Hikkikomori says:

    Hehe. I don’t think pulling back is entirely your fault, given that your used to Players running around like headless chickens once you set their house on fire – metaphor and pun not intended.

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