Sunday, July 7, 2013

To play DCC? Or to run DCC?

My mother, of all people, was recently asking what the difference is between playing and running. The conversation resulted in some introspective thoughts, so I thought I'd share for anyone else who may be on the same ledge I was.

First off, being a Judge/DM/GM is a LOT more work than just showing up to roleplay and roll dice. There's considerable planning involved... Even if using a prewritten module (which is all I've aspired to thus far), it needs to be pre-read. Please. Do this. Do it for yourself and make your life easier. Do it for your players, who are depending on you for a good time. I tend to make notations as I go over the material, marking things that should be stressed to the players in my job as storyteller and particular rules that I need to keep in mind as things progress. I also make sure each player has what they need to play the character in front of them, especially if they're pre-generated characters. {Side note: I've often found this to be a selling point; once the players get a taste of the game's overall flavor, they tend to buy the book -- to which I affectionately refer as "the tome".}

-Is it more time-consuming than playing? The way I prep, you bet. I go at it like it's a research project I'm being graded on. Because in the long run, I kind of am. My performance becomes a direct reflection of the game and its publisher(s). I'm not comfortable with taking the lazy route in any performance.
-Is it more stressful than playing? Only in that I'm not really afforded the chance to eat and narrate at the same time. That whole scheduling thing can be tricky, but that's more a matter of balancing client work with prep time.
-Is it more satisfying than playing? Well, I've been lucky enough to have been part of some really awesome and memorable games, so it might be a draw there. But afterward, there's a deep sense of pride and I realize it confirms my loyalty to the Goodman Games brand and all of its authors & artists. So, whether I'm an "anonymous" name in an online discussion group or a well-known gamer in the local community, I'm being a good little acolyte and getting out the word of the awesomeness that is DCC RPG.

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