Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Deathbat's New Years Gaming Resolutions for 2019


Here's my list!

1. Focus on putting a more serious tone in my games. And game maybe a bit less often, but aim for higher quality.

By this, I mean that I have finally determined that the reason I have enjoyed gaming less than I could in the last year or two is that I have less time to prep for it, and also my burn out manifested in the form of what I might call "too many tropes, and too much meta." If I am seeing too many tropes, and feeling the meta within my games, it means I am not finding the time to make them more interesting, and less "trope-y" or less meta.

You might ask what I mean by that, and I could devote a whole post to such, but in the short version:
Too Many Tropes - I find myself leaning on the same cliched and tired content to fill in gaps when I have not had enough time to prep for the week. Another wandering monster encounter with "insert here" or yet another classic dungeon delve designed to soak up the evening without enough care and consideration into the plot = tired, old tropes being used in place of good content.
Too Meta - this is harder to work on, but in theory if I am working on better story content with fewer tropes then meta elements become less prevalent, too. Meta means I am GMing from the context of the game as an experience in itself, and less from the story or "character" arc of the tale; this could be to being too familiar with the content, or finding the rules to be too "in the way" of the experience. This is when I get that sense of ironic familiarity with a situation and can't resist reflecting on it, leading to a less serious effort at game tale telling. By focusing on a more serious, interesting tale I may be able to overcome this. I want games that feel like they used to: actual adventures, and less like they have: people killing time at the table with well worn and familiar cliches. To do this, I must focus on the narrative seriously, avoid the tropes, and commit to quality over quantity. Also, game systems which encourage new and interesting content are helpful, too.

2. Focus on games with I have found to be reliable time and again. For me this list is pretty simple:
BRP and Call of Cthulhu
Dungeons & Dragons (despite it being a hotbed of potential tropes and metagaming)
Traveller
Cypher System

Likewise, newer games on the rise may well contribute to this process. I expect to get a lot out of Over the Edge 3rd edition and Kult this year, for example. Fantasy AGE and Modern AGE continue to strike me as the kind of systems that move in the direction I want.

3. Focus less on games that do not prove so reliable, or which feed in to the tropes and metagaming.
Games such as Starfinder are awesome, but I concede that I never get far with it because it is the very definition of a setting and system that calls attention to itself and its own absurdity/mechanical contrivance. And I LIKE it! But fails for me anyway, because I can't quite reconcile what it offers with what I really want deep down inside, which is something more akin to Traveller or the Elite Dangerous RPG. Real SF, in other words. With limited time, I need to choose carefully, and not go for the tasty eye candy.

4. More family gaming.
This one is a no brainer! Gaming with my son and wife is proving more fun than ever.

....Okay, those are my gaming resolutions for 2019. We'll see if I stick to them!



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