Friday, September 04, 2009

Writing as a Player

So. Posting. It's been light lately. Trollsmyth's already covered a big part of why pretty well, pointing out that the solo game we're doing has recently veered into social, setting-heavy territory that makes it even more difficult to discuss intelligently than most campaigns. I've also just moved back to college, and I'm still adjusting to the changes in my schedule and social life associated with that. But I'm also still figuring out how to write about being a player, and how to think about it in a way that I can write about.

It's pretty easy for me to write about DMing, because when I DM, I'm thinking a lot about what I'm doing and the technique I'm using and so on. I'm naturally in an analytical mode, because I want to improve what I'm doing. As a player, I'm mostly thinking about what my character's doing and how she's going to react. It's much less about technique and much more about the game itself, which runs me right into the problem that Trollsmyth discussed.

When I do think about technique during a game that I'm playing in, it's usually in reference to something that the DM seems to be doing. Lately, for instance, I've been thinking a lot about player failure, since my character in the solo game has been doing a lot of pretty serious failing, and I've been having all kinds of fun doing it. Part of the reason for that is that even when things go spectacularly wrong in the game, they often end up working out in her favor in some way. Things don't always work out exactly well, and there's usually some fairly significant fallout along the way, but she's also gotten a number of rewards -- and a few allies -- by taking advantage of the consequences of failed die rolls.

The trouble with writing about that from a technique standpoint is that I don't really know what the DM is doing, since I'm not the one doing it. It's even possible that this pattern I've noticed is completely unintentional. I've gotten some ideas from it for how I'm going to run things in the future, but that doesn't help much because to focus strictly on what I "would" do makes the discussion a little too hypothetical to be of much interest to me.

On the other hand, I've gotten some interesting ideas out of looking at my reaction as a player to various DMing techniques, so despite the problems with that format it can be worthwhile. But I haven't been playing exclusively all that long, so I'm still figuring it out.

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