Estratto da un intervista con Ed Greenwood

settembre 20, 2009 § 2 commenti

A DM’s job is to entertain their players (because the play sessions are eating time out of their lives), and the DM should tailor style of play and content (HOW the game is played, from casual chatter or football-quarterbacking to ham acting with funny voices and Shakespearean vocabulary or even costumes, and WHAT happens: hack and slash or intrigue and solving mysteries, urban or wilderness, subterranean or undersea, pirates or paladins, etc.).

Well, MY players loved to roleplay (acting), and so do I, so I played the NPCs to the hilt, and prepared for hours beforehand and afterwards, knowing my players wanted to find out which NPC was related to which other NPC, what scandals had gone on in this village thirty years back, and so on and on and on . . . so I gave it to them. They always wanted to TALK to everyone, and there were nights (six or seven hours of play, with a tea-and-chips-and-chip-dip break in the middle) when no player character even drew a weapon; it was ALL intrigue and roleplaying conversations, confrontations, investigations, trade dickering, and so on. Hack and slash seldom interested us (though when battle did come, all the frustrations were let loose!), and as DM I wasn’t trying to “win” any fights against PCs, so I tended to always give them initiative unless they walked into a trap or bowmen with arrows ready at, say, a city gate, but during battle I kept the pace up by demanding swift answers (like a rapid-fire auctioneer) to “What’re you doing this round? Ten-nine-eight-seven-six . . .” and they’d better blurt out something, or I’d move on. So it was almost all acting, and almost no rules. Which was great for newcomers to the game enjoying the play sessions; they were never intimidated by the thick rulebooks. If someone jumped in to defend themselves with a rule, I automatically “gave in,” and so was never seen as an adversarial DM, so we settled into a playing style that suited us. Not for everyone, but it’s what OUR group collectively wanted. Players could always DEMAND we apply rules in a particular combat or encounter or situation, and I would comply, but we tended to find doing so ate up so much time that we could have more fun “ham acting” in, that we kept such occurrences very rare and for very important situations.

Amen!

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