Friday, January 15, 2010

Slaughter City: Preamble

Another long absence, huh? I've just been really busy writing up NPCs and setting material, and studying, and thus there really isn't anything to say except "Wooh! 5 more NPCs!" and "Hey, I finally understand that bit about how computer memory management works." And who wants to read that?

(Though, in retrospect, I think posting about my studies might be fun. I'll be studying all next week, so maybe I'll discuss exactly what it is and why it's giving me problems.)

But, at long last, it's time to run my game, so I have to put down my brush, step back, and let the audience get a glimpse of my work. And lemme tell you, that scares the crap out of me.

This game is something completely different, completely new. Most of my changes in approach and improvements in GMing skill have been gradual, an addition of one concept or two. This feels like a revolution, if I'm correct, and I'm just waiting for it to all go wrong. How? Well, I could overwhelm the players with a hojillion NPCs right off the bat, or I'll "go McClellan" and refuse to let the players mess up my precious NPCs that took over a month to create!. Or, worst of all, the guys just go "meh" and the game ends before it begins.

I'm being irrational, of course, but stage-fright usually is, and I always get stage-fright right before a game. Never mind that every one of my players think of me as awesome. Never mind that I have to turn people away from my games. I still get butterflies in my stomach. Just how it goes, I suppose. It doesn't help that alot of people on the internet want to see this game, and this will be my first "podcast" RPG. It's one thing to impress a dozen players, it's another to impress the internet. You can't please everyone, of course, and so I have to remember that it's my players that matter, not my external audience.

Even with all these doubts, even before I've run my game, I'm ready to pronounce this a success. This exercise has been mind blowing. Once upon a time, I used to just sit down at a game with no real idea of what was going to happen, and sort of improvised it. Then I learned to detail the game, to make sure I knew what things looked like and how they looked, and my games improved vastly, mainly because improvisation became alot easier when you had more material to work with. This feels the same, except for an entire campaign. If you told me to stop planning right now and just run a game until I ran out of material, I could probably complete three full stories before I even came close to running out of material.

So, paradoxically, in addition to being terrified, I have never felt more confident about a game! I can see how everything fits together. I know the history of my city, the character of my city, the characters of my city, and I have so many layers of intrigue and mystery that I could spend an entire evening just handing the players fascinating clues and they'd still not know it all (Thus, there's no fear of someone being "too successful" on an investigation roll and forcing my hand too early).

I feel like a creative cannon, primed with more inspiration than I can handle. I'm filled to bursting with ideas, and finally, I get to show them to my players. It'll be magnificent. I think they sense it alreayd.

I'll keep you up to date on how it goes.

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