Author Topic: good first-time GMing  (Read 1871 times)

davidberg

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good first-time GMing
« on: October 15, 2011, 01:24:58 AM »
Just played with Shelley, who played D&D for about a year in 1999 and has never had an interest in GMing ("too creatively demanding").  I told her Murderous Ghosts was a scary horror game and handed her the MC booklet.  I asked her if she got scared by fiction easily; she said no.

We picked up the booklets and spent about 5 minutes reading through the intro pages.  Shelley noticed the female pronoun and started a chat about that; she seemed to appreciate it.

We started play a little bit silly.  There was a lot of, "Now I'm supposed to..." and reading off the page.  I was a little worried when Shelley said, "You're supposed to imagine a place where terrible violence has happened.  So, uh, imagine it."  But!  A few seconds later she started describing stuff.  First, cliches: chains and broken finger bones and skulls.  But then, "So many cobwebs you can barely move through them, and soot covering the windows!"  Nice!

For many of the pages we flipped to, there was a bit of a lull as we stopped talking to read, and Shelley once said, "Whoa, that's a lot of text."  (Page 19, I think.)

Things started slowly.  I asked Shelley a few questions, "What do I see?  Where are the exists?" and saw her scanning the book.  I said, "If there's no instruction about that, just make something up."  She wasn't sure if she was supposed to do that.  But she did start just making stuff up, and the game took off from there.

I spent a while trying to escape from one creepy but not super-dangerous ghost.  The most intense the game got was when I kept failing to get away, exhausting every option I came up with.  I think I forgot to discard once on a bust, but otherwise I drew correctly with pretty average luck.  Shelley noticed me getting blase at one point as I easily eluded the ghost, and she upped the supernatural menace quotient, which totally worked.

Eventually Shelley got tired of coming up with new ways to keep me in the first room, and let me kick through the wall into a new room.  I asked her after the game about her logic there.  She explained:

After I'd tried and failed once to escape, she used the ghost to try to get me to do other things, so she could flip from page 19 to find out what was on some of the other options' pages. 

When that didn't work right away (I was stubborn), she kept at it for a bit, because she didn't want to let me leave the room.  She'd interpreted her job as to trap or kill me, and was viewing getting 4 cards (i.e., me getting to a 4th room) as losing.

We looked back over the rules to see if that was in there.  It wasn't!  But it still seemed like a logical way to play.

When I got into the second room, Shelley started narrating nice carpets, just for variety... and then she thought, "Who keeps a room with nice carpets right next to a room of murders?  A sadistic prison warden!"  She did a great "Back in the dungeon!" mantra at me.  Spying the bullet hole in this ghost's head, I found a gun, threatened him with it, and he Darth Vadered it right out of my hand! 

I drew, busted, and that was that.  She looked at her book and laughed, "Ahh!  No!  Ha ha!"  Time for me to die.  She had the warden ghost telekinesis me into the chains in room one, where the first ghost gave me a mercy killing energy-drain kiss rather than leaving me chained to waste away.  The end.

Paul T.

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Re: good first-time GMing
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 01:48:13 AM »
Nice write-up, Dave!

I just started playing this with a non-gamer friend (who was MCing), and these two very exact thing happened to us too:

For many of the pages we flipped to, there was a bit of a lull as we stopped talking to read, and Shelley once said, "Whoa, that's a lot of text."  (Page 19, I think.)

Things started slowly.  I asked Shelley a few questions, "What do I see?  Where are the exists?" and saw her scanning the book.  I said, "If there's no instruction about that, just make something up."  She wasn't sure if she was supposed to do that.  But she did start just making stuff up, and the game took off from there.

He didn't seem shocked by all the text or set back or anything, though, just noticing it, like, "Oh, wow, something serious to work through now." And then jumped into it with gusto.