I am not really sure what to talk about. Sorry, it's been a slow couple of weeks - gaming wise. Though this weekend I am DMing my Assault on the lightless depths game. Our other game, a Pathfinder alpha Age of Worms campaign has gone on hiatus pending the end of the school year.
The good news is that we will be able to make some real progress :) The bad news is that I will have to ramp up my "homework" in order to keep the good stuff rolling along. In fact, I am working specifically to incorporate a new character (the Kenku wizard from the previous story). After his first 4E game, he was a bit disappointed in how "shallow" it was. He enjoyed the combat immensely, but felt it was missing something that he couldn't put a finger on.
By now you should know that I wasn't about to take that one lying down :) So we conversed a bit, but were unable to nail down exactly what the problem was. After thinking about it a little more, I may have a little more insight into why this was. My sessions are usually divided into three to four pieces. Each of these are scenes built around an encounter.
Example: If you read the previously posted stories, you will see that one of them was a crypt, with a trashed campsite and cave complex attached. There was a small fight at the campsite, a larger one at the crypt, and a massive knock-down-drag-out at the caves. His complaint? There was little inter-personal interaction beyond what the powers that were used "allowed".
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was both right and wrong. Previously, the party had been in a smallish village named Hogshire. While there, they didn't really DO anything. Nobody questioned the townfolk. Nobody asked where to find the local magistrate. Nobody wandered off to the tavern. Nothing. I was in such a hurry to squeeze in the whiskerfish skill challenge, that I overlooked it at the time. As time passed, with little forward movement, I finally Deus Ex'ed them with some wanted posters and such on the wellhouse at the center of town. Still...
What am I doing wrong? Should I have some villagers approach them on their own volition? (Railroading) or should I just sit and stare at them until they actually DO something? (Sandboxing). Should I even care? I mean they have fun and keep coming back, right?
This next session, we are going to start with a short conversation about this very subject. It could be that they simply want to be led...as apalling as that is to some of you. I may also very well be that they are still unsure as to what their characters can actually do (outside of the whole poking folks with swords). These are folks that I have played with for going on 8 years now, so they arent newbies either...Perhaps I am just a piss-poor DM :)
I stand by my statements that 4E does not hamper role-playing. All THAT really requires is imagination, and a way to implement it. You'll notice all of the 3E RP skills are still present, with similar - if not identical uses, and yet they are rarely used - definitely less than they were in 3E. I wonder why?
Any other 4E DM's out there having similar issues? And grogs want to snark me up :) ? Open mike, lets just try to be productive, shall we?
To assist you in preparation for your scathing scorn or pompous praise (FTW!) I will also do something I haven't done in awhile - FUNNIES!
And now, from the darkest corners of the internets!