Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time Pressure

I hate time pressure in an RPG. Okay, it's fine sometimes, and no one should neglect it as a useful tool, but when every single goddamn situation has massive time pressure, that cuts out so much from possible stories. What's it good for? I would argue there are two uses for it. The first is that making a situation have massive time pressure can be awesome. The second is that it can coerce players into caring about the situation.

Wait, really?

That sounds amazing! A method to guarantee players care about what's happening?

Well, no. What it actually does is say "look, unless everything you do is aimed at resolving this situation, it's going to resolve itself to your character's detriment, so no you can't try to do something that interests you more". It produces the actions you'd expect from players who care about a situation without actually making them care, which is far more insidious than when players who don't care let the GM know.

Next time I GM I will try to completely avoid time pressure and see how things go.

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