Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Burden of problem solving

One of the things that take time is asking permission. It was in Happy Jacks where I heard of a GM that required players to take a lot of initiative, where his rule was: if you asked you can't do it and just do it. 

Getting more practice GMing, I realize that when players think they have to ask me permission to try something I'm not living up to my "Yes&/Yes-but" promisses. How can I be "Y&/YB" when there is no opportunity for the player to put more input. 

Experience with the 3rd Gen Game Systems basically gave me an Idea:
Go ahead and do what you plan to do, just roll. 
  • Critical Success: Describe what happens, 
  • Regular Success: Describe what Happens and the GM yes-ands you, 
  • Failure: Describes how you failed, and the GM will yes-buts you, and 
  • Critical Fail: Describe how you crit-failed. 

If this is too aggressive, try this one out. Consider it 3rd Gen Light. 

Players tell you what skill they will use to achieve a Feat. Instead of the GM asking what skills you have, in a given situation, the Player says how they are going to use what skill or resources at their disposal to solve that problem. 

In this situation, the GM does not list a bunch of options for the Players, instead the Players take initiative and tell the GM how they are going to solve a problem with their tools. This saves time for the GM, and gives a lot of power to the Players: but unlike what happens above, its just lets the player have ore free reign in their problem solving. 

As I get more practice GMing, I realize that when I'm having to present options I'm eating up more "Air Time" and I feel that robs opportunities for players to have spotlight. When players explain their plan, thats spotlight and the GM can be more reactive/cold-reading the players more than making up the story as they go along. 

Facilitation is how 3rd Gen RPGs are trending towards, with the motive of making the game run faster and allow for more things to happen in the shorter and rarer game and play opportunities for its aging gamer market. 

I've left this article to upload in the schedule, I'll be trying to implement this asap. Spending maybe 10 minutes  explaining to the newbies that they have these options and they can take more initiative if they want. 

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