October 28, 2003
GameWISH #70

Wish #70 -- Games that Challenge You

Have you ever played in a game that has challenged you in some way? What was the challenge? Do you think you lived up to it? How did it affect other games you play/have played?

There are so many different ways a game can challenge a player. Or a GM.

Grand Affair challenges me because everyone is so amazing. The RP is amazing. The writing is amazing. I feel like I watch every word I write, and try much harder to put effort into the writing, and not just play the character. I often coast in PBEM and enjoy the RP but don't worry about whether my words are repetitive and try to think of how many different ways I can say "Dara purrs".

GA is also challenging for me, stylewise. Troupe style is new to me. I'm still a little weird (as I think everyone well knows... I tend to wrestle with myself outloud) about jumping into threads and figuring out how to get around. But I'm gaining confidence and getting it figured out.

It is also a challenge to my patience. I'm SO into Dara and Gen and Jordan that I keep checking for posts. And pouting when there are none. But as I always say, I *can* be a patient girl, and will, for good RP. *smiles*

I have been in games that challenged my playstyle, and failed out of them. I thought Patterns 3.1 was a fascinating sounding game, and loved my character, and loved the beginning of the game. Somewhere in there I realized we just weren't meshing, though, GM to player. I stopped hearing from them. It just kind of tapered off. I know there are people still in the game and I sort of wonder sometimes if the Gms think I dumped them or if they dumped me. And I realize I'm not sure. And it was back in my days of poor communication (pregnant with Ryan) and I don't know if there *is* a definitive answer to that.

I have been challenged by slower posting speeds for games that I knew were worth it. I'm not very good with real slow speeds -- I lose track of the voice in my head sometimes. Because I started out separate, AoR was slow in the beginning, and SB has had a slower rate until recently (still loving the new speed! *grins*). But I used that self-enforced patience because I knew the games and the GMs and the characters were worth it. And now both Kale and Leigh have their voices in my head and wait anxiously for their moves.

I suspect Kale, in many ways, is a challenge to her GM. Flaky, spacy, weird, not all there, and nowhere near the plot... eek!

Hm. As a GM.

I am always challenged when I run a game.

I ran Artifacts of Winter to challenge myself on purpose. It was the first game I ran that had an intended beginning and end to the campaign. It was supposed to be tightly plotted. And it was, even if it wasn't the plot I'd originally intended (13 players all saw the plot and agreed to take a left turn and go check out that shiny thing over there instead). I proved to myself that I *could* run plot.

White Wolf was my test for longevity. My first campaign that ran into years instead of months.

Rite of Passage / A Common Disaster is my successful challenge for different play styles. I'm relatively happy with how I'm handling the different players, different posting speeds (some of them never participate in the PBEM, only the FTF portions... others are direct opposites). Different goals and objectives and desires as players. It isn't easy. Some people have completely different playing styles than I do. Remember that plot thing? I'm still working on it. Puzzles? Not my strong suit. Characters? Yeah, those I can handle, and in spades.

Have I failed at that mix of player styles? Hells yes. I started Between the Lines, a fantasy PBEM run in the same world (a good 50 years later) as Artifacts of Winter. I had I think up to 17 characters at one point. Which was INSANE. I realize that now. But that wasn't the biggest problem. I learned then that just because I enjoyed playing with someone else when they were GM, that didn't mean I could GM for them. And just because I liked someone didn't mean I could GM for them.

It was a mess. I had something like 6 or 7 threads going, and of them all, only one survived (and utterly thrived... it was a wonderful thread, and to this day, will be the one I most remember that game for, despite that it had only one PC in the thread!). One limped along, and did fairly well.

The others plummetted. I would lose players periodically. Sometimes players would just disappear for weeks. I couldn't keep control of the threads. Couldn't keep control of the communication.

It was my biggest failure. I regret it. I was trying to build something,and I think there were hints of what it was going to become. But it's crumpled now and I don't think I could rebuild it. Which is unfortunate.

Still, it was a learning experience, and I apply what I learned about communication with players (especially as regards to either player or GM absence) now. And ACD/RoP, which has had it's own flaws and breaks throughout the years, has still managed to survive and is thriving again (IMO, somewhat) after everything.

When I look at the games I am in now, each of them has a challenge in it's own way. The energy transfer is good... so the challenges are good. Hopefully that'll keep up. ANd hopefully I'll keep learning the positive lessons.

Posted by Deb Atwood at October 28, 2003 12:15 PM | TrackBack

"GA is also challenging for me, stylewise. Troupe style is new to me. I'm still a little weird (as I think everyone well knows... I tend to wrestle with myself outloud) about jumping into threads and figuring out how to get around. But I'm gaining confidence and getting it figured out."

We are all learning a lot.
Don't forget the GMs also want us to succeed. They are a great resource!

Posted by: Arref on October 28, 2003 02:07 PM

I can't wait to play out the 'breakfast' scene... got no script, just letting it flow. There are but one or two questions floating in Merlin's mind.

More lovely awkwardness... *grin*

Posted by: jenn on October 31, 2003 12:52 PM

I can't wait to play the breakfast scene either. *grins* I'll definitely be playing that and seeing how it goes... I never really know what Dara will say from one moment to the next!

There are times when I think Merlin scares her.

Posted by: D. on October 31, 2003 09:24 PM

I agree with what you say - makes sense to me. Looking for some propecia?

Posted by: propecia on November 15, 2004 12:49 PM

An interesting read! I'll consider what you said over my christmas holidays. I want Lasher for Christmas!

Posted by: Lasher on December 12, 2004 12:21 PM
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