Monday, January 12, 2015

Gravity in everything the PCs do. Some mnemonic tools for your consideration

Things in a game goes along faster when we deal with what is important. We do this in summaries and bullet points, and in other matters. The thing is, what happens when we dwell in what is not important?

When there is something the Player finds important, but the GM doesnt or vice versa, we have a BIG problem. If we communicate and we cannot see what the other finds important we are in trouble and that is ineffective communication. Its so basic but

As a GURPS guy I would be crazy about details... but there would be so many details and some details didn't matter so much in the story as others. Still I found that the details I liked was not the same as the details my players liked. So I worked with the details they liked, sprinkling in the details I liked as the elements that threw them of balance (the "sh*t" people have to juggle).

Mnemonics: Mental Tools you condition yourself to ask or ponder

  • When the player puts for this course of action, remember what are his "buttons" and what he wants out of it. 
  • What I (the GM) want is what I want, its not what they may want. When in doubt ask again, I (the GM) should not need to be "hinted" more than twice. 
  • What they (the Players) want has a value in the story even if you have a hard time seeing it. When in doubt ask them to elaborate and narrate it with Internalization (with feeling), and go with those feelings. Muddy it up with all the other conflicting feeling you can empathize in the situation (practice your empathy when people are met with difficult or conflicting decisions, never make yourself an exception). 
  • Emotional Conflict can be read in both the Players hesitation and confusion, as in our own. For me when a decision is Hard, even when the facts are plain thats Gold. a game of easy decisions is not fun - its predictable, a game with hard decisions with compounding consequences is fun and mimics narratives of my favorite stories.  
note about the mnemonics. Our skills depend on how much we practice these and use them when the situation calls for it. Only practice and internalization/reflection can get them right. There is no quick fix - jut the humiliation/humilifying experience of starting out as crap and getting better. Honestly I havent mastered them, I've gotten practice but have a long way to go. 

As my interests grew: Work, Airsoft, Survival, Fitness, Self Doubts, etc... more details and altered preconceptions gave me more ideas and details to work into the games. My hobby getting into more "simulation" has recently increased my tactile experience about many things. Particularly using blow back rifles and playing games that encourage good habits over "Playability" lolz. Coupling this with my interest in Cognition and Empathy, and there are a mix of very unsettling details (like how easy it is to shoot friendly or get "killed" by hesitation or the consequences of shooting before thinking)

This, I realize, means one has to be willing to try out new things and explore new experiences. To take note of this experiences helps create a huge database for them and when the GM starts running the game all these experiences trigger the memories and conditioning of "How sh*t keeps never happening the way we planned it to be." A saturation of Details, and having so much material to use: using those that has not exhausted the patience or frustrated the players: so that they keep thinking of "New" problem solving methods. The more new experiences of problems I face in my life, the more the player's problem solving challenges in the game becomes Dynamic (and explains why I need a break of a 14 days between games lolz).

The funny thing about these "New experiences" is that it gives less time to Blog about them (because I select which is for public consumption) and which to keep in my private notes. So I have less time to blog about them: the trade offs of life lolz.

Anyway I hope this gets the players and GM into doing many other things or looking for more sources of enjoyment to compliment their GMing. Iin the end we exhaust what is close to us, and need to Range Farther for more experience and doing things Uncharacteristic of oneself.

I honestly open the invite to friends nearby to join me in crazy adventures and I'm open to joining them too (family, work, team, and player's obligations permitting)

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