Your gaming ambition for the next year
It’s time to get a bit David Cage.
But first, a few smaller goals. I’m managing to roleplay a bit more these days which has been an ambition of mine for a while, but I do want to try a bit more as far as one-shot games go. I’m also hoping to try more online TTRPGs.
I want to get better at ending scenes. I tend to let them run long, especially if the players are having fun in them or taking too long wondering what to do. When the purpose of a scene is over, cutting things short should be the action taken, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Then the David Cage goal. I want more emotional play in some of my RPGs. It’s easy to go funny in RPGs, and that’s fine. People can snark and quip against villains and the plot which is okay but can remove any emotional stakes. In running horror games, getting the group wrapped up and in the moment is great, but can easily be undone by a single pun. Beyond horror, trying to craft scenes with emotional resonance can be even harder. They often require a bit more openness and lowering of some barriers which can be uncomfortable. This is why the X Card and Script Change are great tools, as they make the game table a safer space for these kinds of experiences.
Some games like D&D don’t really need much of this, but it can enhance a game whether it’s a hack and slash or whether it’s something which needs emotional investment such as Bluebeard’s Bride and Where the Heart Is.
There are some barriers to this. The group are relatively new and unlike previous incarnations where work and employment created ties outside of the game, we don’t have much of that yet. This means there may not be enough trust to lower the barriers yet. We play in a public space, so sometimes players can get self-conscious. I admit I’m fairly emotionally guarded and lock down under some circumstances. This kind of veers into self-improvement a bit, and I hope that I can play and run experiences which can be open to emotional moments whether big or small, and that those tables remain safe places for all involved.