Sunday, June 25, 2017

Who vs Who

I see posts all the time by people who are DM's talking about the things they incorporate into the game to essentially counter or respond to the pc's in the game.

Most of the time, it's not hard to get that the DM is playing counter to the players.  I get that.  At the same time though, I disagree with doing that.  I don't see it as the DM's place to be the opponent to the players pc's.

We as DM's have multiple roles in the game.  We prepare the game session/adventure and tell the story.  We are also the referee during the game.  We determine what is within the rules of the game for players, the pc's and the obstacles built into the game.

It is there that I make the distinction that the DM is not the opponent to the players.  The DM at that point is there to be as objective and impartial as a referee, even while rolling dice to find out what the monster does in random result situations.

One of the DM tasks in game time is to make sure it keeps moving along.  Something easier done by being objective and impartial.  If the DM is wanting to move the game in such a direction as to change the outcome (dramatically) they are not going to keep the game apace.  That's not my style.

Once I write, create and otherwise prepare the game, it's on it's own.  During gametime I am the narrator and referee.  If I've done my job at game prep right, the monsters and npc's all have their personalities established and all I need to do as storyteller is to step into that character to see how they will go about the interaction according to the pre-established identity and randomness accordingly.

The players come to the table to play the game.  In so doing they represent their own interests and intent to play and succeed, win in other words.  We play games to win.  So the players are there to compete against the game itself and the other players, NOT the DM.

In the way I see it, the players can win by accomplishing the objectives successfully and by getting more points than the other players for outstanding gameplay.  The game can also win by basically having stymied the players efforts to succeed.  As the referee, I have to stand back and let things take their course impartially.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting way of looking at things. I spend so much time reinforcing the games team-building requirements, I never thought about individual competition. I have recently gotten away from rewarding individual XP points, the system that I had been using wasn't all that balanced, but you are right. I was being lazy, and good playing should be rewarded.

    Thanks for the reminder Tony. It is so easy to get lost.