Making your own game for your friends to play raises problems that you never anticipated, but you essentially know where you want to go in the end. It’s just for you and your friends after all.
Preparing a game for the public, however, brings up a whole new list of problems that must be solved.
If something is a little unbalanced when I run a session as a GM, I just tweak it. I’ve talked about this recently: fudging. A couple extra hit points here, a smaller die size there…and like magic we’re back on track and balanced. It’s an important skill to have as a GM. But should it be expected?
Is it reasonable to ask someone playing your game to use common sense and improvisation to keep it running smoothly? Or is this a cop out, essentially releasing a broken game and asking someone else to fix it?
I’ve been building combat encounters and trying to playtest for balance, but sometimes there are so many variables that I can’t account for everything.
“Yes, this WOULD be a balanced Level 5 encounter, except they found that chest of magic maces last session, so now it’s a steamroll.”
I’ve had to learn the hard way in comedy and screenwriting to trust my audience. Have faith that they can follow. Don’t treat them like idiots, don’t spell everything out for them. Know that they’ll get there without you. Maybe it’s the same theory here?
Or maybe this is completely different, and requires a different approach.
What do you think?