Saturday, January 19, 2008

Of Mice and Men...or Rats and Players

Mal: Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!
Mal: Ain't we just?
-from Firefly

One of the main pitfalls of having a GM and players is all too often the GM gets caught up in creating a challenge for the players that they see themselves as their opponent. But in my opinion, one must realize that they're actually working together. The players create the world as much as the GM, by rough magic and flashing swords they shape it, and in the end it is an effort in cooperative storytelling. And in most cases, that means that the GM must have a hand in offering the players opportunities to be, simply put, BIG DAMN HEROES.

The players should never feel like they're rats in a maze, or pawns in someone else's game...they may well be, but they should never have to feel that way. Agent of one's own destiny, if such a thing is possible, or else at least given the opportunity to laugh in the face of death and face it head on. They may not win all the time, but they should never feel inconsequential. Never should they feel that they have no choice, there should always be choice, and an opportunity to be heroes, not just people being tossed around, their victories have to mean something. Players come with characters that are most often diamonds in the rough, they'll be shaped and sharpened by the challenges they have to overcome,and hopefully polished to a heroic luster.

Anyways, remember, while a GM should challenge the players, they shouldn't put them in untenable situations with little recourse but to follow along. Not to mention of course, the need to let your heroes shine.

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