I’ve written before about how to be a good gamer. Sometimes it’s fun—and useful—to look at the other side of the coin. Sometimes it’s worthwhile thinking about how you could ruin a gaming session. Knowing what ruins a gaming session makes it easier to not ruin a gaming session.
In my long gaming “career” I’ve played under some truly great GMs and some truly terrible ones. Being a great GM is a time consuming labour of love (unless you are one of the special ones) as you labour over creating an adventure to enjoy with your players. Being a terrible GM is easy.
Trying to get gamers together on a regular game night is traditionally harder than herding cats (or herding catoblepas, for that matter). Kids, marriage, work, vacation, hot new movies, etc. all take a toll at one time or another. Still, enough people showed to still game, so what do you do? Sure, sometimes people will do a one-off game, or try a board game night or such. But what happens when you decide to run the game anyways? How do you keep an absentee player involved?
So we started up Village of Hommlet and this time around we had two new players. One had not played since the early days of 3rd edition, and the other had never played. Although both jumped right in with both feet to have fun, many of the mechanics slowed down game play.