Friday, 2 March 2018

Adjusting to the Crunch

The third session of O Mortal played out last night. At the end we spent a couple of moments talking about the game and one player said, "Wow. Only eight rolls all game."

For context, we played for two hours. That's one roll every 15 minutes or so.

At first I shrugged it off but the players reminded me that this is Burning Wheel. Every roll is a test. Every test helps towards advancement. Advancement is built into the psychology of this game. Therefore, by not asking for die rolls I'm hindering the players' desires for character advancement.

As a GM this was a great moment for me. My players are telling me that they want something from the game that I didn't give them. They want the game to be Burning Wheel and I ran it as though it was Fate or DramaSystem. This kind of disconnect can lead to players being dissatisfied with the play experience and potentially with the game system itself.

My role as a GM includes participating in creating the conditions for enjoyable play. I'm included in the mode of production of the story so I have to respond to the others at the table in some way. It might not be acquiescing every time, but it has to be a response that moves towards greater enjoyment.

More importantly, my role as a GM is to respect the game that I run. A game is written to be run as that game. It might be similar to other games but that still doesn't make it the same. After playing PTA and DramaSystem games for the last few years, I need to adjust to the crunch of Burning Wheel.