|David Peterson's Mouse Guard|
- These players are focused on the game-mechanical aspects of their characters and measure their success by additional mechanics enabled.
- These players focus on the story, both of their character (background) and achievements in the campaign.
My theory is that the younger players are more likely to have grown up with CRPGs, which focus on mechanics as a metric for character advancement, and tend to have less-personal stories. Older players are more likely to have played table-top RPGs first, and may have branched out to CRPGs.
This all makes for an interesting challenge as a GM. Some of my players get an immense amount of their game satisfaction from tracking progress, advancing capabilities, and poring over rules to find game-mechanical advantages for their characters. Others are daunted by this level of detail, find it a burden, or would happily remain oblivious to it. Games like CRPGs and 4e D&D put a lot of burden on the player to make sound game-mechanical choices in order to keep pace with the encounters the game provides. These games are predicated on the idea of character/challenge advancement.
So, as a GM I get the benefit of a system that empowers my players to define a lot of the rules that they'll be using (as a subset of the gamut of game rules), and puts the utilization of those rules in their hands. However, I am then burdened by the task of generating encounters that challenge the capabilities of these characters. Players expect that opportunities to use these capabilities will arise, and are usually disappointed when they do not. The knife has two edges.
|WotC's 4e D&D|
So, I'm sitting here with this knife in hand (Not literally. It's the figurative knife of modern game rules that make my life easy as a GM, as well as complicated.) And I'm wondering if there is a way to carve out a system that works for both styles of play?
What would you do if your favorite campaign was run using two different rule sets? If, for example, one session was a story-based system like the Mouse Guard RPG, while the following session used something more mechanical like 4e D&D? That's just a crazy idea I threw out. I don't have an answer yet, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.