GM Struggles

Struggles, wins and losses of a gamer

Trying a New Game: A Matter of Trust

A smiley with glasses.

A smiley with glasses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, last time I talked about my Seed for the Dungeon World game I am planning. What I haven’t talked about is how it ties into what I see as needs of my group, my own needs, and everyone’s expectations on the table, this was supposed to be  a single post, but since there is a lot of different topics to cover I have split it into parts.

Anyone who GMed a game they can be proud of, or played in one they had a blast can see where I am going here. When you enjoy that kind of game and have that kind of experience, you trust your GM to provide you with another game like that without even realizing it. We associate the good game with the person “in charge” of it, and are willing to accept more deviation from our preferred style/tone/system when playing.

It is not a problem, much to the contrary, it is a great thing, it gives the GM more room to actually work on something he has more interest while still being able to provide you with a game you want to play. The only problem is when you want to GM and you lack that kind of trust.

This is my struggle right now.

My group right now consists of 4 friends and myself, two of which I GMed a game to for about two years, same campaign, random schedule, but around 40 to 50 sessions. They enjoyed it immensely, they felt they were free and yet there was a clear goal, they had a hard time and yet managed to arrive heroes. They enjoyed it, they ask me now and then to play the followup, they trust me to provide them a good game. These are the ones I already talked about Dungeon World, and although they don’t have my own anxiety, they trust my choice enough to try.

And then there are the two other friends I have at the table. I have GMed to them before, but all the games haven’t clicked, they were lacking something. They are pickier on what they would play with me GMing, even if they don’t say so, they want to play their own interests and less of what I might prefer. Nothing wrong with that, just makes it harder to deviate from what they are used to.

A D&D game session in progress

A D&D game session in progress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

D&D Next playtest is on, I managed to sneak in a single playtest session on one night, we had just closed a game and were not yet started with another, it was the first Bligdenstone playest and while it was a single session, they all had crazy great fun, and I had as well. The game’s last half hour was around trying to bring the party’s wizard back from the dead, they were ok with it, they had fun with it. Still, that was a one-shot, they still don’t have the kind of trust the other two have on me.

If I wanted to play D&D right now, I could easily sell them on the idea of playing D&D Next’s current playtest, even though they attribute the fun they had in that session not to the game or me, but to the light tone and commitment of them with the characters. Hell saying to almost anyone who plays tabletop that I want to GM a D&D game brings instant expectations, and it is pretty easy to get started, since familiarity with D&D is hardly a rare quality in an RPG player.

But I don’t want to play D&D at the moment, I want to try something new, I want to try Dungeon World

Next: Trying a New Game: Selling the System

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