Hey, people of mastodon, does world building and DMing also make you feel super vulnerable?

Show thread

3) I need to let go of some *more* of my fears of being ridiculous and boring at the same time. As a DM, providing the world and story opportunities can make me feel vulnerable. I need to push through this. Consciously, carefully. Because whenever I tried before and went "go big or go home!" - I went home... But I want to change that.

Show thread

So, things I learned:

1) Our super short 2h-sessions are in fact even shorter and leave us with 1-1.5h of play time. I need to adjust my pacing! When I started DMing, I got used to generous 3-4h. But those longer arcs don't transfer easily to the super short sessions.

2) I need to write down descriptions. Vignettes. I don't know how I got there, but I was thinking writing down less important things that build the mood of a scene was somehow shameful? That's bullshit. I am changing that NOW.

Show thread

I got some answers. Had a long-ish talk with two players, and two others wrote me long e-mails. I can see things much clearer now, and I am very grateful for that. I'll detail my thoughts in the next toot(s).

I really hope we can all commit to a short feedback round at the end of our games. I appreciate the openness and will to improvement from all sides I heard from so far.

Show thread

After a whole month, my artisan dice have arrived. They are so gorgeous!

One addendum to Ten Candles: We got together at about 20:30 and we were finished at about 01:30 in the morning. 5 hours. Probably due to bad dice rolls in the beginning and me not being able to create enough challanging conflict situations, I guess. So it went quite long, way longer than the 2-3 or even 2-4 hours I read about. The candles were also still doing pretty well. None was close to go out by itself.

Show thread

So, would we play again? Maybe. I honestly prefer Fiasco as a oneshot game system. As a GM, I also felt left out of the fun a bit, even though I enjoyed narrating and creating creepiness. We all felt that as we were narrating a common story, it felt strange and artificial to roll dice to "win" narration rights. It felt unnecessary and overly complicated.

But it was a fun evening and a cool experience! 9/9

Show thread

We also had real difficulties with maintaining a serious tone. I am notoriously bad at this, I love to make jokes when playing and even DMing. As humor tends to lighten up the mood quite a bit, the immersion wasn't too deep. Which was, in all honesty, totally fine with me. The playing area was a bit gloomy with just 1-3 candles lit, but not totally dark, and that was also okay. I think we all didn't "feel" the darkness creeping closer, even though darkening candles was a fun detail. 8/9

Show thread

We all agreed that the randomness in which the candles were darkened (or rather not darkened for too long) was a problem.

Also, the initial recording that's played at the end of the game is super important. Somehow I didn't convey the kind of message the players should record, and everyone just left one snappy sentence. I think if the recording had been more personal, its impact would have been so much better and the game would have profited a great deal. 7/9

Show thread

This is definitely sth I'd want to improve on should I GM Ten Candles again: I need to create interesting, threatening challenges.

My players btw did pretty well with co-creating the world, creepy stuff and not playing too much "against" me. Only towards the end that changed a bit for some players. They also played their characters very well, and they seemed to enjoy it. Nevertheless, we didn't completely fall in love with the system. 6/9

Show thread

The first 2-3 rounds felt like forever. I also struggled with creating horror: I think I did pretty well with my narration, especially as everything was improvised. I was very happy with that, and'll remind myself of this game whenever I doubt I can narrate well.

But: Horror is not my favorite genre. I don't like it too much, so the mood I set was more like "creepy" but not "horror". I also struggled with creating good challenges and relied too much on the players to come up with things. 5/9

Show thread

First, we used a oneshot consent sheet I created. German version here: drive.google.com/file/d/1uV6TA When we were ready to play, character creation needed well over half an hour. I don't know if that's bc we wanted to come up with really unique concepts, or bc we come from a different rpg background (mainly DSA, D&D, but also Fiasco).

When we started, we had bad luck with the dice: The rolls were too good! The dice pool didn't shrink quickly enough, which is one method of pushing the story forward.

Show thread

The game rules are for my personal taste and for being a "zero-prep" and oneshot game too complex. My players studied them for several minutes after I explained them, and I had previously spent hours of reading and understanding them. The rule set also doesn't come with a "cheat sheet" for the rules, which I luckily found online and translated it myself. Without this sheet, we wouldn't have been able to play the game that evening at all. 3/9

Show thread

Darkness plays a big role in the game: In the game, the table collaboratively creates the stories of a handful of survivors of supernatural darkness - and THEM, who loom inside of it.

At the beginning of the game, ten candles are lit and then extinguished one by one whenever a so-called conflict roll is unsuccessful. This slow darkening of the playing area is meant to enhance the mood, and the mood is all that this game is built around. 2/9

Show thread

We played Ten Candles yesterday. I'll summarize how it went, what worked well and what did't, and some of my thoughts about why I think that is.

If you don't know, Ten Candles is a tragic horror one shot tabletop game. It is available from the creators at cavalrygames.com. It's a collaborative storytelling game that puts pressure on the players with the progressive darkening of candles, slowly submerging them into darkness. 1/9

We're going to play Ten Candles tomorrow, and I'm so excited!

Ten candles sure looks like an awesome game. *picks up digital copy*

I may or may not have just come up with 53 pieces of lore for the religion of my Cleric...

Show thread
Show older
Tabletop Social

We are an inclusive Mastodon community for everything tabletop (and more).