Whilst it doesn't look as though I'll be running, or even playing, anything soon, I have resolved to do things differently the next time I do.
I plan on asking the players what would they like to play, and how would they like to play it.
Revolutionary, I know.
It's like a whole new paradigm of thinking. Well, it kind of is for me, as I got into GMing because the guy running the Vampire: the Masquerade game I was playing in really was doing it wrong.
This has bred in me a habit of just 'doing stuff' to the player characters, hoping it'll work and getting frustrated if it doesn't. I've never really stopped to ask the players what kind of game they'd like to play or how they'd like to play it.
Which I guess is kind of basic error, one that I presume (hope) other GM's make.
If they don't, then I really am crap...
I used to try to get players to write up detailed character backgrounds, but going forward I think I'm going to ask about what style of game they would want to play instead. I'm presuming that by this point we've all agreed on the system and setting, and we're now designing characters.
What I think I should now be asking includes:
- What kind of conflict do you want to face? Physical combat, physical obstacles, political intrigue, social challenges, a mixture of two or more, something else?
- What is your character's ultimate goal / win scenario?
- What is stopping your character from achieving this goal?
- How do you all work together as a team?
- What would help you to really enjoy this game?