It’s the adolescence. Creepy rural fantasy aside, which is working well too, playing the characters as mid-teens is working wonders.
This is the second session following RuneQuest 1980: brambly hick coming-of-age fantasy. I’ve attached the file I sent to them before the session, updating my scribbled notes into complete sentences concerning the general cosmology, with details about shamanism and the goddess Oome, using the format from Cults of Prax.
Check out the video, which has visible people in it this time: if I say so myself, I busted out some grade A creepy shit and some Owsley level countercultural acid.
But … well, that’s the thing – a lot of the session is me talking, which is not so good. Looking at the video, I think Ian’s, Matthew’s, and Gordon’s engagement was extremely high, and again, I credit the players’ embrace of their rather likeable but very vulnerable young characters for significant energy of the whole experience. Certainly what the players did with their characters was their own, and highly consequential at that. And I love every bit of that – but now I want the literal speaking-space to be less of me, from this point forward.
To some extent – and based too, on the same thing I’m spotting in the other games’ videos – this comes from the online format, in which interrupting is too easy, and part of the solution is to be a little less assertive about speaking up with “I do this, I say this.” It also comes from this particular game in which the text is agnostic and the tradition, at least, favors the speaking-stick going from a player to GM, then a player to GM, et cetera, so with N players, the amount the GM literally speaks is N times the amount a single player does. I see it as a problem to solve.
Anyway, back to the content, I’m really feeling it. After just two sessions, we have three vivid protagonists (one of whom is really skirting villain territory) and about ten genuinely interesting supporting cast. I’m motivated and inspired to work up a deeper history for the location we’re playing in and to keep beefing up my source-material notes into the level of the excerpt I’ve attached.