Friday, April 6, 2012

Playing it Fast and Loose

I run a loose game.  There are several times during a session you'll hear me tell the players, just tell me what you want to do and we'll figure it out.  I'll set an arbitrary difficulty rating.  The player can chime in and debate it down and if the point it valid, down it goes.  Or I'll come up with a 'you get this bonus if you succeed or this penalty if you fail.'  I try to keep resolutions simple and fast paced.

Initiative is a simple matter for me.  Group initiative and then I take in dex modifiers after.  If the initiative monkey rolls a 3 and someone has a dex mod of +2 then they go one segment 1.  If the monkey rolls a 1, all can rejoice and go at the same time and slaughter the innocent monsters whose homes they have invaded.

I don't worry about 'you shoulds' when I play.  From the blogosphere you here many opinions on how things should be or how things should be played.  pppffffttttt.  Only requirement is having fun.  Drance over at Once More Unto the Breach!  is doing the A to Z challenge and his C is for Campaign entry spurred this post on.  I read some posts about a game report and think how boring it would have been to be included.  Some GMs just have a stranglehold on what should and shouldn't be happening.

Now I'll be the first to admit that my loose style gets me into trouble sometimes.  As I get older I have a hell of a time remembering where we left off.  I always have great intentions of taking notes and most sessions my notes of the beginning are great, but the farther I get into the game I find I get wrapped up in what's going on and forget to note things.  Luckily I have players that are more organized than me and can usually tell me where we last left off.

My prep for a game in minimal in most cases because I allow the players to drive the story.  But there will be situations going on that occur beyond the players control that often steers their actions.  Example, a war with a neighboring kingdom and the eastern iron ore mines were taken over by a small army of the rival kingdom.  All of a sudden weapon and armor prices triple and those lowly bandits along the road are now organized military ambushes.  Do the players have to do anything about what's going on, absolutely not, but they can if they choose to.

I guess with the weird convergence of reading Drace's post and watching The Hustler, Eddie Felson playing it
fast and loose made write this.  It railroaded me.  Yeah.  That's it.  I was railroaded.  And I didn't mind at all.

This one is mislabeled as the final pool game.  It's not.  This is part of the first game vs. Minnesota Fats.  If you haven't seen this movie or haven't seen it in a while, it's on Netflix.  Great movie.


  1. I like that handling of initiative, it's an elegant compromise between individual and group initiative that I have not seen before, thanks! Since players are better at remembering things that are good for their characters than things that aren't, they would probably help remembering the Dex bonus.

  2. I do group initiative and then down the marching order which worksmwell most of the time as the first characters are alwaysnthe first in the room. Their are situations where we flip itnaround (attacked from behind). Can't be bothered with dex modifiersmfor initiative anymore.