So I’ve GMed several MG games and I’m still a little confused about how long to allow the GM turn to run and when to turn it over to the player turn. I’ve been following the rulebook formula of CHOOSE TWO and it’s been pretty good overall. But I want to hear how you guys have done it too.
I have always chosen one obstacle and one conflict and then assigned them to two of the four mission factors: weather, mice, wilderness and whatever. The CONFLICT is almost always the highlight of the adventure and I try to make the conflict central to the mission objective.
-do you ever do two conflicts?
-ever do more than two tests/conflicts in a GM turn?
-how do you use twists? Do they add an extra test or conflict in the GM turn?
-do you find that the players turn is just as fun and engaging as the GM turn?
-any good examples of GM/player turn stories/balancing?
-do you ever end the GM turn BEFORE the mission objective has been completed? And then force the players to spend checks to try to finish it off?
Right now i am of the opinion that conflicts work best in twists.
In a 2 simple obstacle missions i have 1-2 twists for each before going to conditions.
Complex obstacles are fun. Having a twist-twist-condition I condition I twist-condition setup for a 3 part obstacle can be fun for example.
I did two conflicts once but it didn’t feel that good to me. I never did 3 obstacles in the GM turn.
I find the player turn fun when there is stuff at stake. When they have risky goals or still a mission to accomplish (or both)
I encourage you to end the GM-turn before mission end as often as you can, MG works really well that way.
Someone said that the two obstacles are stuff to overcome even before you have the chance to get the mission done. They can even be little single missions that play out and make the players forget about their real goal in the mission. If you can make the shit hit the fan that hard that they don’t care about their original goal anymore you done a great deed.
I usually use one simple obstacle and one conflict.
I only do more than two obstacles (whether they are simple, complex or conflicts) when I invoke a twist.
When I use twists, I’ll keep spinning obstacle after obstacle until the players finally manage to overcome.
The best use of a GM’s turn is to take the patrol to the point before they accomplish their mission. So when they go into the PT, they have to choose to recover or accomplish their goal. Even better, if you give them a compelling secondary goal by capturing someone, revealing new information, or introducing a new enemy. Then the PT is really about hard decisions.
In the sample mission, Danger on the Scent Border, in the PT the patrol often has to choose between accomplishing their mission, recovering conditions and rescuing friends caught during the weasel raid. It makes the PT particularly tense. And, more often than not, the patrol doesn’t have enough resources to do all of that and still get home. So the result is they rescue their friends and accomplish their mission, but it’s night and they’re stranded in weasel country. That is a great way to start your next GM Turn.
That’s awesome advice Luke. Thanks. Im running my first PBEM game with my kids and Im going to do a simple obstacle and then a combat conflict with an animal (they’ll enjoy that). But their mission is to deliver invitations to the Governors of 4 towns. At the end of the conflict, Ill hand over the PLAYER TURN but they wont have completed the mission yet