Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And now the End is near....

I haven't posted a lot about our D&D 4e campaign because it is covered elsewhere in excruciating detail, but something struck me about it this morning - the fact that it is coming to an end soon.

Now we know all about this, we have talked about it and in our game planning sessions we have got a pathway of intent laid out to carry us to Level 30 and the End of Time. However, the approaching doom has brought some matters to the fore in my mind.

The first is that there is a finite amount of time to do anything I want to do with this character. I'm not even sure there is anything I need to do, but the pressure of time has made this more apparent in my head. The last thing I would want to do would have the campaign end and something being left loose and flopping.

The second is that we will inevitably start thinking about what we are going to play next and more importantly, what formats our games are going to take. History tells us that we run highly successful long term games (City of Kings, Buffy, Pendragon, Crescent Sea) and have a patchy track record when it comes to shorter campaigns. However, we have a decided desire towards shorter campaigns, I think. As we get older, we have less time to prep and with a table of GMs, we all are willing to have a go. I think we're going to have to have a good hard think about the structure of these games and how we are going to produce things that are (a) runnable, (b) satisfying and (c) sustainable.

The third thing is simply a recognition of the amazing job Andrew has done of taking something as mechanical as D&D4e and turning it into something so smooth and utterly enjoyable. This masterful display of GMing has made me think long and hard about some of the 'theory of roleplaying design' stuff and wonder just how much of the impact at the table of a game is actually down to the players themselves and their ability to play with each other and riff off each others strengths whilst compensating for the weaknesses. This also speaks to the degree that a group, through their underlying social contract will house rule a system, almost instinctively, to suit their needs. For us its things like random death, experience points, money and encumberance - we simply can't be doing with them at all. It might be different things for other players. Hmmm... consider me pondering.

Regardless, this Sunday we go to kill a Primordial and put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons again. Great game.

1 comment:

Fandomlife said...

It's always down to the players, the point is the rules can have a role in enhancing or detracting from that (often when you choose to ignore).

The amazing achievement at the table for me, with respect to 4E, is making it a playable game. I'd have not even tried to run 4E and you'd have failed to actually run 4E itself! The delivery of the 4E complexity consistently amazes me.

My other comments went to the forums.