Sunday, July 28, 2013

Did That Just Really Happen..?

Okay... Last night was the second run of the Circle City Champions game I started a couple of weeks back. My general take on it was that if I had to take ANY game session back in my 35 years as a game master, last night's was it.

From what I gathered, no one was mad, and there very few (if any) hurt feelings over what happened during the session. So what went wrong? Based on a game situation, I took what is/was supposed to be a lighthearted game/genre and sent it to a *VERY* dark place. How dark? Take Law & Order: SVU and add a couple more shades of dark. As a result, for the first time ever, I rendered a character unplayable to his creator, and it resulted in PC suicide. The player (based on what he indicated) *IS* bringing in a different character.

I am not proud of where I took the game, as it added a layer of depression to what is supposed to be a fun activity. After the session, the players and I spoke about things a bit. Like I said, there are no hard feeling between the player and I, though I do feel a big heap of guilt. Anyway, speaking about things, knowing what I know about the villain in question, it made sense from what happened to have happened, and the players agreed with it to some degree. To be honest, the players pointed out that what has happened really gives the remaining PCs a reason to *HATE* the villain in question, once they discover who it is.

Still, all of this has me thinking about things a bit more in regard to the games I run. I'm finding more and more that as a GM (and a player) that I need to push the boundaries of what others find comfortable to explore characters and drama in a way that is interesting to me. Anymore, if my campaigns were to be made into a television series, they would be on Showtime or Cinemax because I will take things into dark and very adult subjects and situations.

For some games, that's not so bad, but for Champions/Superheroes it really creates a bummer vibe...


  1. I had a very hard time getting to sleep last night, as I could not get what happened out of my mind. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the repercussions. This will probably end up making my character a serial killer (and I can do it in such a way there is no evidence).

  2. Well, it is a superhero game - can always have Mr. Mystic or someone show up with all the characters (including the dead one) waking up before said events and tell them "That's what could happen. Here's how to stop it."

  3. Hmm, I was thinking about what you said concerning the types of games you like to run now. I think for me, that the older I get the more escapist I want my game to be. I want a game that takes the characters someplace where they are not bummed out all of the time. Maybe that is not what they want though. I need to think about this.

  4. @Anonymous: Sir, I am *VERY* sorry for contributing to your insomnia. I have been reading what you have been sending me about how/why your current character could become a serial killer, and while I *COMPLETELY* understand why the character could go that direction, that is a direction I am actively trying to avoid at this point in time.

    @SoT: I've never been a big fan of "mystical handwaving" in regard to campaign repair. I'm more of a "well, I made this bed, now let's see what I can do to make it comfortable again"-type of person.

    I have, however, come up with an idea that *CAN* lessen (and potentially eliminate) the damage done *AND* fits within the campaign as it stands. Honestly, I'm kind of kicking myself for not thinking of it in the heat of the moment what all the poopage went down.

    It's a good, solid, very comic book-styled idea, and one that, a decade ago, I would have had pre-planned for such a case...

  5. Excellent! I see AKA more like the Question than Dexter so that sounds good to me. Not sure I could pull off the serialkiller thing without some practice..

  6. Okay...

    I have spoken to the main principal entity about my idea. Now all I have to do is to wait and let them decide if they are on board. It seems likely, but I'm not counting my chickens before they are hatched.

    If it gets the go ahead, it will shake up the game somewhat (and some characters a *LOT*), but I honestly think the game will be better for it.