Ok so this is a little under a day early, but the wife and I have plans tomorrow so I figured I would get this up tonight instead of dragging things into a rush in the morning.
If you took a look at the comments from my friend Xen a few posts back we had started talking about communication and the way some of these things end up resulting in your entire campaign being #$%^ed up.
Yeah the world goes boom. Players go boom. GM goes boom.
So Xen suggested I use that as an article header, and ya know, he was right.
So this may be an ongoing, may not. But for the moment lets take a look at the two major categories of problems that cause a campaign to get completely @#$%ed.
- Your Game Master #$%@ed up.
- Your Players @#$%ed up and the GM let them.
Hmmmm, looks like a lot of responsibility ends up on the GM no mater what. I mean sure the players can go ahead and hit the big red button…
But in the end it is the GM who took the risk of putting it in the game hoping that his players would not go all cartoon happy and rush to see who could trigger it first.
The same sort of thing goes with all the potential magic items that could be out there that could completely destroy everything…
Sigh… swords… why does it always have to be swords…
Anyway, what I am going on about here are things that go well beyond derailing a campaign, and lead to the destruction of the game world. Or the nation that your game is being played in. Or something else of that Armageddon level, world ending level sort of thing. There is also the aspect that a player or GM may use language/terms/settings/thoughts that are offensive or threatening to players. Or that players may use the same things to have the same impact to each other or the GM. There are a lot of ways from game balance, story use, rail-roading, and interpersonal communication that can @#$% up a campaign.
Maybe I should re think this a little and take a look at the levels of @#$%ing up a campaign… hmmm
- A player is allowed to play a character that does not fit the campaign
- The players want to do something other than the story you have prepped.
- The game has become slightly unbalanced / A single player has become offended
- The players manage to use an unusual means of accomplishing a mission that was completely unforeseen
- The players manage to sidestep a major portion of the story
- The game has become significantly unbalanced / The GM has become offended
- Ok so one side or the other in this story sneezes and the other falls down dead / Players realize they are being rail -roaded and the GM wont listen
- A chain of events has been allowed to take place that has resulted in the destruction of the campaigns primary city/village/dungeon
- A chain of events has been allowed to take place that has resulted in the destruction of the campaigns primary nation/continent / All of the players have been offended
- A chain of events has been allowed to take place that has resulted in the destruction of the campaigns primary world/dimension
- Someone brought foods to the game that the GM is allergic to and they will not be able to game because of the need for hospital time and they will never trust the players again not to threaten their life for something even so simple as an extra 50′ of rope. Other less savory tales of assault or physical action taken by players against each other (and yes that includes GMs when I say players there)
Yeah ok so that dial goes to Eleven.
No not really to her but I love the show and I had not put a link into the page yet so I thought I would get a two fer… heh
That is much better… and the right reference…
So yeah. I have heard all those things used as reasons why a campaign is completely @#$%ed. Heck I have uttered it myself more than once for more than one of the reasons on that dial. But to be honest I really dont feel like anything on that dial less than an eight is really a reason to say the game is over and we need to think about something else to do with our time. If the players and the GM are willing to talk things over and take a few risks, then you can recover from pretty much anything on that list as long as you dont crank it up to 11.
Sometimes a fix might mean a change in the story. It might take a series of apologies and taking a new approach to things. There is also resetting game balance. A games setting might need to change worlds. But there is no way a game should survive intact if assault or other physical interactions that are non-consensual have happened. That last one there is when the dial hits eleven and you need to get at least one person out of the group and start up something else so the game session itself does not become a trigger but a means of support and family for the person or people who were harmed.
So I know I dropped some humor in here, and there are parts of this that are more serious than others. And because of that combination, as I do not want to be insensitive, but I also do not want to push a topic to the point where I @#$% up an article I am going to pull the plug here for a moment. I may come back to the topic and pick a spot on the dial to make suggestions on how to fix the situation, may not… we shall see.
Ok so I am out… gimme the dice, I need to see if I can come up with a functional D11.
Keep gaming keep safe and keep having fun out there all of ya.