Sunday, June 19, 2011

GAMING IN THE DIGITAL AGE, PART II



Continuing my previous post...


We sat down to actually game, this time using a laptop instead of my beleaguered smartphone, which apparently was just not fast enough to keep up with the demands of roleplayers.  Again, part of the idea was to test out my retro-clone, Sorcery & Steel, so it was important to factor in just how much time was spent in confusion, as well as how much time was spent actually roleplaying.  


Truly, it wasn't the smoothest experience.  Probably because of the following:
1) My ill-preparation as Dungeon Master.  I need to be on the ball and ready to go at a moment's notice.  I have not run a game in several years.
2) I kept having to flip through the PDF to refer to the maps.  And the maps have too much black on them to print without blowing an ink cartridge -- I'm looking at you Goodman Games!  Fail.
3) My 7-year-old son did not feel like he was involved enough, and so kept running off and doing his own thing.  While tangentially related, that was off-putting, and distracted everyone else.
4) The pauses in the scenario while I figured out where they were in the module vs. where they were on the map.


I thought it went pretty fast, but we have someone in the group who is quick to whine, therefore I try to eliminate bitching for my own piece of mind.  So, I resolved to fix these things for next time.  Especially involve my son more, as an absolute newbie it is essential he enjoy himself fully, so that he becomes a gamer and enjoys gaming on its own merits.  Actively give him choices, so that he has a louder voice within the group. 


I would like to unveil more complexities to combat, such as the combat maneuvers.  Having more things to do than just endlessly trading blows with monsters in a war of H.P. attrition should help.  Being able to disarm a nasty foe, or knock him down, ad infinitum is part of what makes Sorcery & Steel great, IMHO, and should be extensively used.  


What did go right is that the players seemed to understand what was required of them, and didn't raise a fuss about this or that rule.  Which is a good thing.  If a rule doesn't make sense, new players can jump on that immediately and it makes the game less fun.  


And another thing that went right is that, barring my son toward the end, everyone had fun.  


So, with that in mind, and the adventure not yet finished, we must say: To Be Continued!

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