Last weekend, our group decided to try something different. In this case, long-time poster and first-time GM Hikkikomori volunteered to run a few D&D games now and then, both to try out the activity, and to give me a chance to actually play for once.
Hikkikomori made a good showing, taking to the role of GM naturally. The 4e rules were a solid springboard to work with, and Hikkikomori knew enough of the rules to make good quick judgement calls on whatever came up. The scenario was pretty standard, but that’s not a point against his creativity. The group was looped into caravan duty, with all of us escorting a cheapskate caravan master who was our only key to getting to the City of Five Kings.
The inevitable ambush was expected, but I will admit that it was a perfect way to get the group into the irreverent tone of a casual hack-and-slash D&D adventure. The fight was longer than we had expected, but Hikkikomori demonstrated a good sense of pacing, making sure that it never drew on too long with too much of the “I hit, you hit” mentality. Creative use of his Caravan Master’s idiosyncrasies were enough to keep up on our toes as we tried to corral the caravan master away (lest he die) and still take down the bad guys.
Overall, I felt that Hikkikomori has a lot of potential to be a GM that can roll with the blows that his players throw at him. He’s quick to react, and quicker to make interesting ways to keep the game from devolving into a simple tactical exercise. I’m eager to see what he has planned after this one, and see if he’ll work in other forms of conflict in the game as well, considering that our characters are about to get into a large metropolitan location full of crazy potential for all sorts of shenanigans.