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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Running ongoing live action RPGs

My live action gaming experience is mainly in playing and running vampire/supernatural themed games set in the modern era. But this should apply to pretty much any genre.

Some of the games I have been in have been great, but others good and still others less so. Most of them went on way longer than they should have.

If you are thinking of setting up a live game then, although this is in no way an exhaustive list, there are a number of big issues that need to be tackled head on which I don't feel are considered as carefully as they might be in the heady buzz of getting a new event off the ground.

1. Logistics
2. Continuity
3. Fairness
4. Commitment

1. Logistics
This is the art of getting everything where it is supposed to be there when it's supposed to be there. Whether your are running a game or playing in it being where you are supposed to be at the time you arranged is important. Firstly it's just plain rude not to be. Secondly, it can destroy the flow of play, especially if there are set pieces that needs to be run by the people running the game. They give up their time to make this game great for you so show some courtesy and be on time. GMs players deserve the same time consideration from you. Especially if this is a charging event, you have an implicit contractual duty to start on time and deliver value for money.
2. Continuity
This is one for those people running games. Maker sure that everyone who should know something before the game session starts does. Ideally before the time everyone expects the game to start. No one likes to have half a session wasted while you brief individual players. That's not value for time or money.
3. Fairness
Make sure that your decision making is fair. And more importantly seen to be fair. If a decision needs to be made that potentially affects one of "your" NPCs then get someone else to adjudicate.
If something needs to run over and some players have family commitments then arrange another time to do it that is mutually agreeable. Family always comes first.

4. Commitment
Running and playing live games can be a big commitment in terms of time and often money. Understand this before you make the decision to get involved.