December 13th, 2003


Mission Accomplished

For the first time in my life, I have run a roleplaying campaign to the natural completion of its story arc. "Falls to Climb" ran about once a week for five semesters (approximately 50 sessions, for between 150 and 200 hours of roleplaying!), and took the PCs from first level to 12th. I am immensely satisfied. Despite many things I am unhappy with about the way the game turned out, or rather things I did in the course of running the game, my *players* seem fairly happy, so I am not going to nitpick too much, just look to the future of my GMing career. I have learned much, and I am so glad this worked out, for many GMs of much greater skill and experience than me have not been able to end their games well.

Thanks to my players, taranhero (Brother Bastion, Human Cleric of the Dog), protagoras (Lord Francis M'leethas, Elven Paladin of the Dolphin), Jenny (Squall, Vampiric Hobgoblin Fighter/Bard [don't ask]), Colin (gender-flexible, drug-addled, half-Elven ninja [really don't ask]), Weihsin (Gongsun Yue, Dwarven Monk), and Dana (Angus Cedarsmith, charming Human magic item salesman). The first three played the game the entire time, though Jenny switched characters for a time, Dana played this semester and last, and Weihsin and Colin joined at the beginning of this semester. I lament the large number of players I lost along the way, especially those I lost due to my own errors, as many of them had very interesting characters, but the group dynamic by the end of the game was *amazing*, and more than made up for those flaws I mentioned, though I can hardly take credit for it. There was just the right level of disagreement within the party to keep it interesting without it either breaking up or needing to be held together through ridiculous railroading. And it never spilled over to the out-of-game. There were some wonderful moments, amazing quotes ("there *is* a Dog!"—I'll try to type up some more later), and great memories.

Thanks also to those who helped advise me: fructivore, benlehman, and Ion. Also those who played in the LARP session of the game as NPCs—it was definitely one of the high points of the game for me, so thanks—I couldn't have done it without you. This august list includes funwithrage, relevance, fructivore, conspiratrix, thestealthyone (and wow was she stealthy!), wirednavi, santoe, salda007, Becky, and Mike.

In his post about the game, taranhero said something about all the friends as well as the enemies of the party. One of my concerns about the game sometimes was that it was too "easy," that there were too many friendly and cooperative NPCs. But in retrospect, while this tendency may have been a problem sometimes, I feel that in most cases it enhanced the game. Stories are about conflict, true, but many of the friendly NPCs were nevertheless an interesting part of the world.

Best of all, I don't have to run a weekly game next semester!

x-posted from my personal journal
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Need Advice

My Keystone game (Forgotten Realms) is going well so far except with one minor flaw (well, only one that I feel like writing about now): a couple of players dislike a third player. It is nothing major...they don't hate him, but they do continually poke fun at him. He enjoys min/max'ing his character, but he also enjoys RPing high fantasy where he is a mighty opponent against difficult odds. He has a very high opinion of his character...which adds fuel to the other two players' ire. I want them to work as a team, and that will happen once the game becomes a little more focused (the main plot theme is about to be revealed) least I hope so.

I've toyed with the idea of telling the two to save their crap for off-board and out of my house...but I haven't felt that it has escalated to the point to warrant that. At the same time, I don't want to let it get that far, just like I don't want to loose any of the three players involved. I've also thought about having the main NPC voice my thoughts about party cohesion (all in character, of course)...a gentle and less subtle hint of sorts. BTW, all three have really good potential to become excellent players, they are good players already.