April 7, 2015

I Hate the Game I'm Running, But My Players Won't Let Me Stop

I hate the game I am running. Right now I am running Shadowrun (third edition). I love Shadowrun but I hate being the GM. I can never figure out that delicate balance between challenging the players and letting them walk all over the opposition. Part of me realizes that Shadowrun is a munch-kin game designed for min-maxers who want nothing more than to stomp all over everything in their way. I realize that but still try hard to challenge them. I have been able to instill a fear of the unknown, but they still walk all over everything they actually meet.

But then we have nights where the mage goes unconscious in one hit (his own fault for not using a Karma point to re-roll all of his failures) and at the end of the night he says he had a horrible time being out of the action for the entire night. I calculated the odds and figured he could easily survive the hit. My bad. But it is frustrating.

And then we have last week. They are investigating a series of murders and at the end of the night they realized they hadn't rolled a single die. They ended the night by saying they had a great time.

And the week before. This time one of the players mentioned he really appreciated the fact that we've been playing Shadowrun long enough that he could actually upgrade some cyberware for his character. He said this is something he has never been able to do before in a Shadworun game. This is coming from someone who has played in multiple Shadowrun games since it was first released in 1989. All of his other campaigns ended before they could gain enough nuyen/karma to reach their goals (and I've actually been rather stingy with nuyen/karma - mostly because I forget to hand them out).

So, I guess for now I'm sticking it out. I have not yet reached the table-tossing level of running Shadowrun. I may not like it, but my players do...and the players are the important ones.
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