Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Turn Structure's Important

So, Saturday night all my friends and I get together, and my roommate (known to y'all as Sparky) declares he wants to run a short one-shot for all of us. Eager to play for once in the last few months and help my roommate out with getting started at one of the most difficult but rewarding hobbies there is (GMing), I jump up to the challenge. We were told to make any character we wanted in a modern setting, so I decided to make "Dexter Morgan", the infamous serial-killer-vigilante.  Now, as you can tell, I'm a rather chatty guy. I'm so extroverted it's actually a bit of a disadvantage sometimes.... like when you're playing an RPG with a bunch of introverted people.


Fortunately, Dexter took a head-shot about half-way through  the game session and died on the spot, allowing the quieter people to step up and actually get in a word edge-wise. Now, it wasn't just because I was a hog, mind you. I did try to step down. The problem, however, was that once someone steps up to lead a certain part of the session everyone sort of assumes that they'll continue to do so. And in a narrative-based game that means that one person leads the narrative.

This is not OK.

One person should NOT dominate game sessions, and I say that as someone who accidentally did! So what should be done? Each player should have a set of priorities that, when it's his turn (and there should be actual turns, a person, once done with a certain amount of actions should step down and the next person should be allowed to go), allow him to start sorting out the problem of the session in his own way, or to strike out on his own and figure out his own thing, and alter the story in... it's... own... direction...