Friday, November 6, 2020

On Slow Gaming

 I'm not gonna let a little fire (or total life upheaval) keep me from TOTM. The show must go on! (You might notice that the audio in the upcoming ep21 get's weird at the end - I had to record using my phone for the thank you's... well it just goes to show that a good mic is money well spent.

But that's not what I wanted to write about today.  I have been thinking about one of the many happy accidents that has occured in my gaming life as a result of making TOTM.  One of the biggest is what results from gaming very, very slowly.  How slowly?  Maybe ten or twenty times slower than a live game.  A live game takes, what 3-6 hours and takes a story from A-B.  I take days to cover that same fictional distance, but... I prefer it this way.  I make better, smarter moves.

To illustrate.  Have you ever toyed with a mechanic that awarded characters with high INT extra time to think, or allow map-making on paper but say it's all in the character's memory?  Something to account for PC skills that are higher than ... er ... PC skills?  We've probably all considered something like that.

This same effect is happening to me in my game, both as player and as DM.  An example: let's say that as DM I roll a 6 on a d6 for Wandering Encounters, indicating there is one.  In a live game, I would consult my charts, roll and discover that 4 hobgoblins are encountered.  How does this encounter go in a game? "You round the corner and come face to face with 4 armed hobgoblins.  Roll for surprise!"

But in TOTM, I might roll the Encounter, consult my list, see the 4 hobgoblins and then go for a walk, or have dinner, or go to bed, or go to work.  Something in my brain plays with the upcoming scenario and by the time I return to the 'table' I will have something much more interesting - maybe the party finds some strange totems that they then follow and are led to a ritual sacrifice.  Maybe there are 6 hobgoblins but they are fighting an ogre.  By the time the party arrives, the ogre and 2 hobgoblins are dead.

More interesting, more colourful and more dramatic moments can be had this way.  I have heard that PBP enjoys the same advantage. Perhaps I should be giving that a try too, sometime.


  1. I can certainly relate to this. The game is certainly better for the extra thought and time that goes into it. The mental game is as much fun as the dice, to be sure.

  2. I love the thought of this. It's kinda what we've been doing too in a sense. Seeing how we are playing maybe hour long sessions, and then giving our selves (now) two weeks to play another session. We have a lot of time to think and talk about what could be happening next or what's happening in her character's mind (of course I'm always keeping some surprises from Megumi too).

    Also, I like the idea that random encounters are more than just *you see the enemy, fight ensues*. There's a reason why those creatures are there in your world, ya'know?

  3. To both of the comments above: that's why you both have such good and compelling stories!

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