Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Player Failings

Everyone has them, really. Often they're the inverse of what makes you good at what you do. The darker shadow. Mine is that I get, well, bored easily. And I mean easily. It's hard to get me engaged and even harder to keep it that way. It's not so bad in solo campaigns just because I can constantly do something though even then there's the chance of me getting bored if you're not quick on your feet.

It's probably partly because I've spent so much time Storytelling, and because I've still got some effects of ADHD, so I'm not good at all the sitting still and not doing anything that can come up in games with full parties. Especially when there's combat involved as my combat turn always seems to take 10 seconds (I always ensure I know what I'm going to do) and the rest of the turn feels like it takes 10 minutes or more. If a single combat lasts an hour, expect me to mentally turn off and start writing shopping lists or inventing future sessions for my own games.

It's not a good thing, but it's something I struggle with.

I know other players that have trouble looking before they leap because they really love the freedom and risks involved in just throwing yourself out there and flailing for a grab point. I know players that are always really cautious and will writhe this way and that to avoid a plot like a worm on a hook. There's others who thrive on contention and in-fighting in the party and will try to goad the other characters. Still others who need to show their freedoms and liberties to roam even if the rest of the parties can't follow.

Sometimes these 'issues' fade over time. Other times you figure out ways around it. You create a scout whose expected to roam and then just check back frequently to help keep the rest of the party involved. Or you suck up your caution and leap. Or you bite back your leaping reflex 9 out of 10 times.

I think part of the trick with our failings as players is to negotiate with the other players and the storyteller what we need to really feel engaged. Should leapers never leap? I think they should. Each player has the right to do what they enjoy. It's just about figuring out how to do in ways, or at times, that don't detract from other player's enjoyment.

With my particular strain of being problematic, it's a little trickier. So what I'm going to do is keep an IC journal as I'm playing a Pathfinder Oracle or Witch natural scientist so I can spend a bit of time drawing the plants or monsters and what I learn about them in the spaces in between (especially in combat) as I can certainly pay attention while doing pictures and it'll keep me engaged in the IC world. In fact, it'd probably deepen immersion to have such a prop.

So have you identified any of your own issues? And if so, how do you deal with them?

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