Game Mastery

Game Wrap – Level Skipping

by on Aug.30, 2011, under dnd4e, GM, observations, self improvement

This one should be short and sweet.  I thought the biggest disruption to my recent game would be getting married.  We took 6 weeks off and lost a ton of momentum.  Turns out that the Mrs. and I found another way to disrupt my GMing.  She’s due to roll character creation in about 10 days.  That’s why game ended when it did.

Being extremely slow, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to run a game and manage a baby at the same time until we were about 5 sessions away from the due date.  The PCs were level 12 at the time.  I saw two options.  Keep them around this level and finish off the local plots, but leave the bigger plots unresolved.  Or fast forward between levels and story elements.  I elected to fast forward.

We played a session at levels 12, 15, 19, 24, and 30.  This didn’t hurt the story at all.  The problem was we never felt comfortable with the mechanics.  Combat was slow.  Players made mistakes.  I made even more mistakes.  Nobody felt like they knew what they were doing.  And this method gave everyone a ton of homework.

Now I don’t regret this choice, but in retrospect I’d have jumped around a little differently.  I’d have fast forwarded one jump to level 27, and then done one level at a time between sessions.  Then we wouldn’t have as much to process between sessions.

On the other hand, this 3/4/5/6 level jump between sessions really helped the narrative control, which I’ll be discussing just a few posts from now.

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