Hi there.

Hi there.

Hi there. I just finished GM-ing a session that I thought went pretty well. Everyone at the table seemed to enjoy it as well. But then one of the players said he didn’t have fun because his character didn’t get to “do much” — even though his character was “on screen” (so to speak) for a lot of the time and was doing all kinds of interesting and heroic things.

When I asked him to describe a little further what his frustration was, he compared DW to various computer games (which he plays a LOT). I think coming out of that mindset, there are two aspects to DW that are frustrating to him:

1. He seems to be very concerned about being “rewarded” with XP and leveling up. Almost as if the point of the game is to see how quickly he can level his character up. That the fiction is there to serve as a backdrop to getting his reward rather than playing to find out what happens.

2. Tied in with that is the expectation that the monsters should match level with the players. In other words, as first level characters they should have a bunch of “easy” monsters they can just stomp their way through until they level up and then move on to stomping their way through slightly hard monsters until they reach the next level. He seems frustrated by the fact that they are encountering monsters that are well beyond their current level.

Am I doing something wrong? Anyone experience this before?

6 thoughts on “Hi there.”

  1. Based on your post, I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. It simply sounds like the player in question wants a different experience from what you provided.

    No one’s wrong here. But a group discussion of expectations might be in order.

  2. Something that really resonated with me and has really helped me avoid this issue with players since, was something that the Dicern Realities Podcast has mentioned in a few episodes; everyone at the table is in the “writers room” for a movie we are working on. The GM is the director, but everyone is a contributor to the scene structure and script.

    I know it’s a bit silly, but if you drive home this analogy with players, I find it puts them into the correct mindset and gives them the goal of making a cool movie rather than getting hung up on mechanics or mechanical rewards.

    Have an honest conversation with him about it and if “writing a movie with your friends” doesn’t sound fun to him, let him go play video games. 🙂

  3. Alternatively, straight D&D may be more his speed. 4E emulates that videogame “grind” very well. Perhaps he could look into running something like that in between your sessions of DW?

  4. I’m currently catching myself doing this in playing DW solo. My current solution is to highlight two of the six attributes to provide XP, just the way it works in Apocalypse World.

    Since I’m playing solo, the difficulty is ramped up, so I figure more capabilities are better, although it’s an experiment at this point. We’ll see.

Comments are closed.