I only recently had a conversation on Discord (feel free to join if you’d like to play, by the way! We run regular games! https://discord.gg/JMNnbsB) about my most dramatic tabletop moment.
Today, I’m wearing my GM hat, and don’t worry, I’m not just going to tell you a story of sessions gone by, I’m going to talk about my GMing style – just a little!
I’m of the philosophy that it’s not the GM that makes the game fun on their own. I’m also of the belief that the GM doesn’t control the situation, lord it over the players or try to kill them. When I GM, I create a situation and I watch characters try to get out of it.
That means that, for me, a good game comes not only from a well-crafted situation, but from engaged roleplaying, careful thought on the part of the players and a willingness by them to let go of the real world and try to live the world they are playing.
The particular moment that was referred to – at CON-Tingency’s Era: The Consortium Multi-Table last year – was not memorable because of me, in my opinion. I just sat there and told people what happened when they did things. Four people at the table told that story, their way of getting out of a situation that I’d put together. Everything I described was neutral – quite deliberately – so all of the emotion, all of the dramatic tension that we had, came from the players.
I also think that most of the people at the table would not consider themselves outstandingly brilliant players – that’s not something that you need to aspire to in order to have amazing moments.
At the end of the day, Tabletop RPGs are about coming together, no matter who you are, sitting at a table and telling a story together. That’s what makes them so special, and it’s also what makes the moments like the one I mention possible for absolutely everyone.
When you’re playing, give yourself to the universe for those few hours. I don’t think you’ll ever regret that choice.