Dienstag, Oktober 28, 2014

Learning from Experience or "Failure. Now try again."

Learning from experience can be read as trying to solve a problem in a different way than before.
Let's just add: [...], and making notes.

GMs need to encourage their players to try solving a problem in different ways, and making notes for future reference. That way the player characters will evolve, as well, and have more options for interacting with the game world.
  • Keep a gaming diary - for keeping notes on character actions in different situations, information gathered during conversation, and research, and keeping track of events, locations, and planning. E.g.: Strategy of persuasion didn't work on the wood elves. Need more flowery language, and glittering gifts next time. And tell Argnukh to not wear chainmail of the Dark Ones in the forest!
  • Draw maps - make an effort, and draw maps of the dungeons your characters explore. Many old school dungeons are designed on graph-paper, and although the general layout of buildings, towns, and wizard towers is often ridiculous, and doesn't make much sense, these maps are usually fairly simple to describe: the wardrobe slides to the side, and reveals a tunnel that runs three squares to the north, with a wooden door at its end. So, go with that. And it's really more fun for the whole group to know where they are in that labyrinth. Note: Some GMs prepare maps, and hand them out to the players. While that seems quite nice, it usually adds to the preparation time for the GM. Player empowerment can be read as giving them the tools to participate. So, here's one. Use it.
And now, let's add: [...], and keeping those notes.

Please bear in mind, that those notes are what will be left of your gaming experience apart from your memories, and shared anecdotes. If you're planning on playing a campaign, no matter how long it will run you will want to return to your notes and recall the events of previous sessions. Do this before you start the game.
Be prepared! Your GM prepares the game for you, and you need to prepare your character, recall previous events, revisit your motivations, plans, and TODO lists. Remember, that the game system is fairly simple. Your GM will help you out, if you forget a rule, but it's your job to prepare the rest. Because keeping track of the experience, the travels, and the deeds of your character is essential to be able to make use of that experience.

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