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<     Episode 54: Wanna See My Tatooine?     >

Episode 54: Wanna See My Tatooine?


The GM is making a concession to the players here, but he's putting limits on it. As justified by Obi-Wan's marginally successful roll.

One thing we've noticed in reader responses to our comic is that a lot of people think our GM is a "doormat", in that the players are walking all over him, getting their own way, and he has no control over the game. We think this is a little harsh.

It's possible that readers are getting this impression because of the strong contrast with our direct inspiration, DM of the Rings, in which the GM ruled the game with an iron fist, and didn't let the players get away with anything. We deliberately went in a different direction with our comic, and it's certainly true that our GM lets the players do a lot of stuff that the DM of the Rings GM would never countenance.

There is a method to this madness, though. This GM genuinely wants his players to enjoy the game. You can't enjoy the game very much if you're constantly being railroaded into doing stuff you don't want to do. So you need to keep a loose hand on the reins. This is one of the natural tensions of running a roleplaying game. You need to let the players do most of what they want to do, while keeping any restrictions on their activities subtle to the point that they barely even notice them, because they seem natural within the scope of the setting.

We see our GM as a reasonably skilful proponent of the art of GMing, as judged by the fun that everyone is having. Yes, he lets the players decide a lot of the stuff that is happening. The reason is because that allows the players to be involved in creating the story and the universe they inhabit. Which is a heck of a lot more fun than being told a whole bunch of stuff that you can't do.


Amidala: To business. We are taking Our ship to Coruscant so We may talk with the Galactic Senate.
Qui-Gon: Actually, we're going to Ratatouille first.
Panaka: Tatooine. But I disagree with the Jedi on this.
Obi-Wan: We need a way to convince the Queen.
Qui-Gon: Hmm. So many options... Suggestion, laser sword, Bigger Fish...?
R2-D2: Laser sword? I bet they suck.
Obi-Wan: Queen Amidala, we are in danger from Trade Federation pursuit. To ensure your safety, we need to upgrade the ship.
Qui-Gon: Guns.
Obi-Wan: And stronger shields.
Qui-Gon: And more guns. Really big guns.
R2-D2: Yeah!
Obi-Wan: I roll 11 for Diplomacy.
Amidala: Very well. We grant you a day to find such parts as you can afford.
R2-D2: So... we've got a big stash of money, right?
Qui-Gon: If they've got a fish market, yes.
Obi-Wan: Or a second-hand droid market.

Our comics: Darths & Droids | Irregular Webcomic! | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | The Prisoner of Monty Hall | mezzacotta
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Published: Sunday, 02 January, 2011; 14:36:51 PST.
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