Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lighter Side of Gaming

Before I go further, +Chris C. when I say lighter in the title I do not mean the kind that sets fire to things.  Okay, now we can proceed.  Lighter side of gaming, as in a little comedy within the frame work of the game.  Sure, around the table there is the occasional fart joke, 'that's what she said' moments and the unrelenting puns (pointing an my inquisitor pokey finger at +Ken H and +Chris C.).  What I'm writing about is the fun stuff in game.

It doesn't have to laugh out loud funny or funny at all, but an encounter that is light in nature.  In the first Manor, in the forest encounters, the last entry was about a woman who was cooking for folks who came around.  Put a couple of coins in the cup as appreciation or even a few ingredients she could use in her next meal.  I guess this would have been the early version of Patreon. 

Not sure this has anything to do with the post, but I do like monkeys.

In the encounter the players could easily slaughter the group.  Take was food and coin was available and move on.  Or they could partake in the situation, and enjoy a non-life threatening encounter.  I get that some groups are not into this.  Too bad.  I think it's an important part that gets under utilized.

In tv shows and movies, many times the situation will be happy, people will smiling in slow motion, children laughing as they swing, adults having that moment of not a care in the world with happy music in the background.  The BAM!, it all goes to shit.  I think those small moments before things go to shit are a great tool in an adventure.  Those brief moments give the players something to care about, raise the stakes of the situation.

Using the situation about, the players meet this lady and find her food to be good and they come back.  Maybe even grab her a few herbs she could not afford.  They strike up a friendship based on a situation as simple as sharing a meal.  A few sessions down the line, something goes bad.  The lady is captured, killed, poisoned or accused of something. 

The players are going to take a special interest.  The GM has them hooked emotionally in the situation.  This is where things can get very interesting in a campaign.  If done correctly the players will talk about it as a highlight or one of the favorite series of gaming sessions. 

Add a lighter side to your game so the darker side matters more.  With enough practice you'll find it a cool tool to use during sessions. 


  1. Very interesting. You give the players context-- set them up at a high point so that they have something to compare the low point to.

  2. I like a fair amount of levity in my games (as you've seen) without turning the whole thing into a comedy. I think of it as sort of an Indiana Jones films level of humor.

    1. This. Our game has a pretty stock of in-jokes and puns (the product of a campaign that has been going for 5 years IRL). But we all try to inject bits of levity and situations that aren't so dire. It goes a long way towards braking up the seriousness of saving the world.