The Man Larkins had a semi-recent discussion about players and character sheet maintenance, and where the GM’s mandate falls/should fall/must fall. I’d originally intended this to be a comment on that post, but then it got lengthy.
This problem–which more broadly manifests as the stratification of investment players and DMs have in a setting, system, and individual character–really caught me by surprise in the transition back to tabletop from roughly a decade of play-by-post gaming. On all of the sites where I played, DMs (and often even other players) had ready access to at least -viewing- your sheets at all times. Getting into games was often pretty cutthroat, too, since even when the communities were small the pools of quality and reliable DMs, skilled and reliable players, and talented and descriptive writers were generally fairly shallow. People were on point. If they weren’t, they got replaced…except for whatever inner circle illuminati had orchestrated that particular game, who were functionally a terrible and irreplaceable tumor. I was usually such a tumor; which is why, on those rare occasions when I ran a game, I made my own inner circle apply every time. I knew that I’d end up taking them, but I wanted everyone to see that it was because they were (and remain) incredible writers, who also took the time to read instructions and even went so far as to craft characters to fit with each other. Man, typing that out I sure miss the game.
When I started a tabletop game with a wide swathe of player-experience (ranging from folks who played in high school and on and off since to my wife, who had previously not held a d20 except when I whispered “Hold it…hold iiiiitt” with steepled fingers, now and again), sheet maintenance became a real thing. Continue reading ‘Players and Sheet Maintenance: A Comment Too Long to Post’