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Roleplaying as opposed to Running - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Roleplaying as opposed to Running
I've been thinking of writing this post for half a week now, I should go ahead and write it...

As at least half of you know, I run a roleplaying game on Tuesdays. I've been doing this same game, more or less every week for nearly six years now. As you can imagine, it can get a bit stale from time to time. In fact, recently running the game had been feeling a bit like a chore, though worthwhile because I get to see my friends.

Then this amazing thing happened. We were having a more or less normal run, and a ninety minute in-character theological discussion started to take place. This sort of thing does happen in my run from time to time, but this one was particularly good. It got me feeling all good and enthusiatic about the run, I think because it was an example of good roleplaying, not just using dice to pretend to bash orcs.

There are some disadvantages to running a game for so long. You lose the thrill of discovery aspect of it. All my players know the world pretty darn well now. I also don't have a lot of neat tricks to pull that haven't been done already. I also don't want to do some of the cliche ones like a mirror-mirror run. The players have also been running there characters for a long time. Everyone is 20th level or more except for the two characters belonging to people who decided to drop their characters and start over again at first level. This makes it difficult to keep challenging the group. Its easy to get caught up in these issues and forget that there are real advantages to running for so long.

Because the players know the world and their characters so well, they can take an in-character issue and discuss it at length as their character. The characters can disagree with each other, with everyone proving valid in-character support for their own side. When they continue to work as a group in spite of their differences in opinion, it doesn't feel like something that I'm forcing them into for the sake of keeping the party together. Now I remember why I do this every Tuesday.

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Comments
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: March 11th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC) (Link)

very cool!

I was in a game where that occassionally happened. Very very cool.
Do you know what the trick (ha ha, as if it's singular!) to getting to that point?

Well, beyond "mature players, an open-minded and flexible GM, an established world", etc. ;)

I mean, sure, I like an orc bash just as much as anyone else, but something I've not been able to figure out is how to create a sufficiently rich world where people are just as content to say, "enh, let the orcs live" and really kick off everyone's imagination by getting embroiled in a discussion of how exactly the Law of Names works and if it differs in its application between faeries and demons.....
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: March 11th, 2005 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: very cool!

If I knew what the trick was, I'd have to write a book on how to GM.

Good players is a big thing. In fact, most of my players also GM really cool cames so that's a big thing. Having players who are willing to help fill in the details of the world is also key. If you check out the post in auria_rpg about units of measure, you'll see what I mean.

I guess there is one other thing that might help. I have a consistant view of how the world of Auria works. The PC are told how their character was brought up to believe the world works. All of those views are culturally biased, but they make sense in terms of that culture and the world.
twe From: twe Date: March 11th, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

auria_rpg

I've glanced at that. In particular I noticed that Lady Fernbridge seems to be a member. Alas, though not unexpectedly, her journal is not public. No doubt it is a fascinating read...
merastra From: merastra Date: March 11th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I remember why I do this every Tuesday.

Ooooh. So intensely cool. That's awesome you get these gems.

I've had similar pain. Man, I'd give a lot to have roleplaying moments like that.
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