Working on Weaknesses

Posted: January 15, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Roleplaying Games
Tags: , ,

I’ve been reviewing how I run games so far, and I can see a few spaces where I could improve. Given that we’re still in the New Year vibe, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for me to focus on improving myself.

So here’s a quick look at my faults and points of improvement in games so far.

Too Much Tell, Not Enough Show

Here’s a constant danger of mine. I tend to slack off and gloss over the minuitae of some scenes losing a lot of the feel of a game by doing shorthand descriptions and even cutting down a conversation into bullet points in key scenes that deserve to be played out. I need to be more aware of these moments and give them the attention they deserve.

Sparsely Populated Games

I’m really bad at maintaining a large roster of NPCs. My best attempt had me putting together rogues galleries of recurring villains for a supers game, but aside from that most of my games tend to center on just a very few people. I think a little more planning will go a long way in establishing more characters to interact with, with believable motivations, backstories and opportunities to transform into villains or allies.

More Balanced Airtime

This is a tricky one, but I need to make sure that all my players get to spend some time in the limelight. There’s a tendency to just linger a little too long on a single character, so I’ll need to be aware of getting more opportunities for everyone to be in the same scene and share screen time.

Better Combat

I know that I’m no tactical genius, but I could brush up a bit on good combat. Cinematic, I can do, but I notice that my bad guys are little more than speedbumps sometimes.

Experiment More

I’m looking at expanding the scope of the game beyond the table. Maybe running a thread for it in FB to handle long actions? I could also re-establish the email bluebooking method I used to hand out extra experience in my supers games. People had a lot of fun with those, from what I remember.

Explore More Genres

I’m worried about falling into a trap of being predictable. As a GM, everyone has a signature style, but there’s also the threat of every campaign being effectively the same with different scenery. I’m worried that I might have established a pattern and I’m looking for ways to break it just to make sure to mix things up.

I’m sure these aren’t my only weaknesses, and I’ll be asking my players to take the time and chime in on the comments on things that they feel I need to work on.

  1. Tim K. says:

    Encourage your players to create two-three connection NPC’s, that re-occur. That goes a long way to making a busy world.

  2. I am with you on several of these, “Sparsely Populated Games” is way I avoid running political games. Keeping track of multiple multiple NPCs is just not what I do well.

  3. dbro36 says:

    I may be able to help you with your sparsely populated problem…

    It’s a book chock full of interesting NPCs. Maybe it’s something for you. I was partly involved in the setting up of this book and wrote a couple of the NPCs, so let me know if it’s something you like.


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