The basic D&D game ran into a TPK. It was glorious. In the end that TPK lead to the direction and next chapter of the game. The TPK is an epic situation - complete and total failure, absolute collapse, and should have an impact on the greater game.
So the 4 characters that turned against the rest of the party because they thought, for various reason, praying to the altar of the Vecna, queen of the damned and primarch of the setting sun, would be good, have become NPCs - in fact they are the "Four Traitors" (the 4 horsemen of the rock apocalypse). These wicked NPCs are racing to do things ... while the party is now racing against them.
as a GM, we decided to move on to this new chapter of the game. i had a ton of material that I wanted to run for my pimped out isle of dread game, but c'est la vie. i can package it up for later consumption. this is why, unless i'm REALLLY into something, preparation and notes and everything are simple.
but back to the TPK ... now to the players feel? they are fine. i hear all these "rpg horror stories" of TPKs, how the GM was awful and unfair and sucked. While these might be part of the case, i also remember one player I had in a game a few years ago. He had been RPGing 'for decades'. great. He lost his fucking mind when his character died. "first time i've ever lose a character". what? he hasn't been playing D&D ... or at least the D&D I play.
At what point did the game become about being heroes? My fantasy rpgs are all about some mooks that are fucking shit up. the challenge is surviving while doing things. you are heroes because you succeed, yo do not succeed because you are heroes. The later is fine, but the former is how i prefer to play.
so when did that change happen? i think that also is when the "story" because so important. maybe i'm just being a cranky old man, but how the fuck does anyone think that is is fun to play in someone else' story? if the story already exists, the events are pre-determined, then it isn't a game? is it even interactive fiction? if you fudge the dice to get results that are 'better for the story' why are you even rolling dice? want a story? read a book. want to tell a story, write a book. or movies or anything but why why why an RPG, especiallyly one like D&D?
There are, of course, story games. I don't really get this as an entire genre and, frankly, don't care if you try to explain it to me. play what you want. but remember this - if you can't lose it isn't a game. animal crossing? super fun and adorable, but it is a toy, not a game. you can't lose.
ok i'm done.
just play more games. whatever kind you like.
be cool to each other and stop being assholes online.
try something new this summer - like i might actually sty a storygame.