Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Big Round Table

Summer’s rolling around at an ever increasing pace (from an unreliable point of view...namely me) and a lot of things are changing.

I will probably be heading home for the Summer. The downside is the heat will most likely do me in. For good this time. Upside is if I manage to subsist as a poodle of geek I will be running another few sessions of...well, something, but that’s for another post.

The reason for going home is that me and my better half will most likely be leaving the apartment we’ve been renting for the last couple of years and we need some time to plan, recoup and charge on.

This brings me to my current beef: A table.

Our apartment, despite its small size is actually quite comfortable for playing. We have a sofa and a comfy chair, a small round table and enough chairs. My current Sunday game actually holds 7 players plus myself GMing. And although sometimes it can become a bit hot and there is some jockeying for the best spots, we get along.

When you lack a table you can sit everyone at games are different, specially if you have (as is my case) too many players. Things become much less centered, already easily distracted players become attention deficit cases and in things like combat, they also become slower.

At first I could ignore a lot of this because we were all setting into a new system and some people were complete newbies to RPGs, but after a few sessions, the chronic lack of attention to the game is getting to me.

Now, I’m aware that people can’t be full on all the way through the session. Among other things, RPGs are social events and the break down into personal conversations and goofing around is what actually keeps a regular game going. This is all fine...but when I am in the middle of a battle between two armies, after some kind of time travel, and enemies that are inhuman. I expect at least 10 minutes of people paying attention and being involved with what’s happening.

Of course, I am also keenly aware that part of the job of keeping people’s attention comes down to the GM...and I have been lacking, specially over the last few sessions. But both factors seem to be feeding into each other and making improvement so much harder. Also believe me when I say I am very shy...asking for attention in that way is not just an ego thing, and kinda out of character for myself.

So: a table.

Not just any table, I want a big, ideally round, table. So that everyone can see each other, and there is space for character sheets, aids, maps, glasses of coke, GM’s screen, my notes, a half-empty dangling box of pizza and a laptop.

Is that too much to ask for?

I mean, at least I’m not asking for this.



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