Friday, November 20, 2015
Hopkins Mission Control (part 5)
Another aspect of MC'ing a Solar Echoes mission is being sensitive to the dynamics of the players themselves. If a player seems frustrated that nothing he is attempting is working (whether it is because of bad rolls or his ideas are outside the mission “box”), the MC should find ways to allow him some success. Even if his roll was a little low, sometimes it's ok to give him a win if it means that the game will move forward and the players will have fun. The rules exist to govern the game so that players don't expect that they can remotely hack an entire space-station by interfacing with a cleaning droid. There will always be things the players think of that are not in the mission and that totally catch the MC by surprise. In those cases, the MC needs to quickly think up a reasonable level of difficulty and let the player make an attempt at his idea. The role of the MC is to spin a great story, present challenges that the players feel they just barely managed to overcome by their choices and skills, involve all players as a team, and keep the momentum/pacing of the entire experience moving forward. Being an MC is a bit like directing a movie, and it is demanding work, but from what I saw last Friday night, the MC at the Hopkins HPPRPG club has a great start!