May 15, 2014
When Games Go Silly
This past weekend, I ran a game of Anima: Beyond Fantasy for some friends of mine as part of a long-running campaign that we have been playing for some time now. The group finished up the adventure I had planned for them somewhat earlier than expected, but since this particular group only meets once or twice per month, we decided to keep the dice rolling. A quick bit of planning later and I had a new little mini-adventure for them to go on. A non-player character connected to the backstory of one of the characters showed up and informed them about a cult of demon worshipers that had gathered in the city and were planning on summoning a Duke of Hell into the mortal world. Not one to turn down adventure or the promise of profits, the group decided to look into the matter.
Fast forward a bit and you would find one of the guards to the estate where the summoning was happening kicked in the groin, a number of cultists accidentally disintegrated, the summoning circles all broken, and everyone at the game table filled to the brim with caffeine and barely able to hold back their laughter at all the wacky hijinks that had led them to that point. Somewhere along the line, I am not sure exactly where, the game took a turn for the silly.
This was not a problem, mind you, as everyone present was having a lot of fun and that is, after all, the most important element of any game. Now, there are some Gamemasters who take offense with silly games. They might feel that players are not taking the game seriously enough or are being unappreciative of all the hard work that has gone into preparing it, and while this may be the case, it is okay to let the occasional session get a little bit silly. Too much doom and gloom can wear your players out, leaving them all the more eager for a little laughter at the game table. Sure, it might ruin the mood. It might derail whatever dramatic events might be going on in the game, but sometimes Gamemasters need to just let things go and allow the players to have their fun. Given, it might not be the most clever move to just walk up to the guardsman and kick him in the groin so hard it scored a 50 point critical, but was it hilarious? Beyond all doubt.
As both a player and as a Gamemaster, I personally prefer the more serious games. Games with high stakes where your characters are personally invested in what is going on, but that does not mean that I cannot appreciate a little levity once in a while. For every world-ending threat or global conspiracy uncovered, it’s nice to wind down with some wackiness every now and then. Certainly not every session, or even every couple of sessions, but every once in a while.
You should never underestimate the power of laughter or just how much fun it can be just to go a little nuts at the game table sometimes. Sure, it might not carry the weight of some of your other sessions, but I guarantee that it will certainly be memorable, not to mention an awful lot of fun.
As always, thanks for reading and I wish you all good – and fun-filled – gaming.
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