Friday, 13 September 2013

Rapid switching

I've been working on a GM technique lately. For want of a better name I've taken to calling it Rapid Switching. I use it when the characters are separated from each other, and especially when they're all in individual pursuits. 

To do it I break from one character to the next after only a couple of minutes or actions. It might be after a few volleys of gunfire with a villain, or some argument back and forth with an NPC, but it is nearly always long before that encounter is complete. Sometimes I might switch to and fro as many as four or five times before it's resolved. 

What I'm trying to achieve by doing this is threefold. First, I'm minimising player downtime. I don't like waiting 20 minutes for my opportunity to play and I'm sure my players don't either. Rapid switching gives players short and frequent opportunities to play. Second, I'm emulating something I enjoy in tv and books. I can interpose fights with dialogue, or fights with fights, or fights and chases. Third, I can maintain dramatic tension. Things are unresolved for everyone for longer and there's a shared sense of it for all the players. 

This rapid switching has helped our game sessions. What about you? Have you used anything like this? How did it work for you?
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