Took a few days off to give myself a little mini-vacation and to prioritize work on school and freelancing.
Still tried to hit ten thousand steps each day and succeeded; I wrote an entry for the 31st (which I will include here), but Steem was having issues and it wouldn’t upload.
Short summary: One of my players quit my game of Degenesis because I “wasn’t balancing it right.”
He picked a fight with a faction leader (admittedly, a minor faction leader) and was complaining that the boss’s minions were stronger than his own and that they shouldn’t possibly stand a chance against him.
I don’t think he was paying much attention, and he was just upset that he didn’t have as much firepower as he thought he did.
Even so, that one fight ended with half of the NPCs that had been introduced for the campaign dead. It’s made for a great dramatic lever going forward, since the remaining players are going to have to pick up the pieces after all that and it’ll give an opportunity to show off some of the surviving NPCs’ responses to the events.
Am I a little bitter about it?
Perhaps, more so for the player complaining in front of other players in a way that I don’t feel is appropriate. I earnestly believe that he was in the wrong here even after introspection, though I don’t think he had any ill intentions.
I’m not as good a person as I could be, though, and I’m having a little bit of difficulty not taking it personally, especially because I feel like he was basically trying to insinuate that I was just being a jerk rather than merely raising a concern about the handling of the rules.
I don’t think I’ve ever raised my voice while running a game (I wasn’t shouting, but I was definitely in teacher mode) before, and I’m not proud of it. I keep recordings of sessions for my own notes, and I probably should go back and listen for a post-mortem, but the other player (we were down to two for the session) was also a little smarmy about the fact that the loot he found wasn’t going to be quite as good as he had thought (he called me immediately after the game and apologized; I don’t hold any bitterness over that).
Definitely not my best game.
Day after that (Monday) I ran an intro for a streamed game, and on Tuesday I volunteered for the first time at the school I used to work at before I left to go back for my Master’s full-time. Both were much better experiences, but I’m writing way past my bedtime so I should post and go to bed.
August 31 (10539 Steps)
I couldn’t post this last night, so I’m going to post it with the next working Actifit post (thanks Steem!).
Yesterday was productive to an extent, but not terribly so. I decided to let myself go easy on myself for the weekend and reboot strong on Monday.
Game night (or early afternoon) was interesting. We were playing Hammercalled, the game I’ve been working on for a couple years now, but I wasn’t running the game.
I don’t think my character had a single success. I’m not necessarily bitter about this (well, maybe a little, but that’s due to things that happened today), but it’s kind of a bummer. I mean, it gets to be a comedic moment when the stakes are low enough, which they were, but it’s also frustrating when you just get no breaks.
On one hand, I guess that’s sort of the way it goes sometimes. As a game designer I always wonder if that’s something you want to avoid through adding a system for it, and when I run games I always tend to give a little preferential treatment to players who are having a sorry streak unless they’re cool with it.
I’m weird in that I don’t like being on a meaningless losing streak in games. Maybe that’s not weird. I feel like if I’m going to fail a lot there should be consequences. I’m totally okay with bad things happening to my characters, but I don’t like feeling left out.
One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is the idea of a sacrifice mechanic. The idea is basically that if you want to succeed at something you can inflict a penalty on yourself. I’m not sure this works within the framework of Hammercalled, but it would be a great mechanic if you made it work.
After game night I went and had dinner with a former student and his family. It was a great experience, since you get to know things that you don’t otherwise get to know about people but it also gave me a chance to do some socializing with people outside my somewhat small friend group.
I’ve been feeling better physically and sharper mentally than I have been for a while, so it’s a little bit of a shame that I’m not getting more stuff done, but I’m also at a point where I was feeling really close to burnout and I think it’s better to have a little dysfunction than to totally hit a wall.