It’s funny, role-playing. You can spend ages planning a session, sorting your game out, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen. You know what you want to happen, but…
My current game is Cyberpunk, doing a homicide detective team in Detroit. So, like most near future games I’ve seen, the future isn’t bright. Particularly not in inner city slums of the murder capital of the US. Where there are streets you just don’t go, if you’re in uniform. You spend your days attempting to solve murders, experiencing the worst of the citizens, whilst trying to stay alive in a hostile world.
As I’ve said, I’ve put a fair bit into this. I have 3 precincts planned to street level, lists of gangs, NPCs, bars, services, media stations, other cops etc. For each session all I really need to do is write up a handful of murders, think up lots of names, and throw the cases at my group. Ensure they don’t get to relax by keeping the pressure on, and having other stuff happen as well.
So, my sessions, they go like a darker version of CSI, with zero happy endings. A really pessimistic game, where by the time it’s over, you feel really down, right?
My sessions are spent with the team stumbling from one cock-up to another. I mean, they’re not all useless, all the time, but sometimes it seems like that. We have the newbie, on his own, breaks into an apartment where there’s a shooter, without mentioning he’s the police. When he’s hospitalized, lucky to escape death, his fellow cops basically have to apologise to the guy who threw a grenade at him. And when he does get out of hospital, he’s going to get docked pay for getting police equipment stolen, while he lay unconscious and bleeding.
I can’t complain, I’ve rarely run a game where people spend so much time laughing. They’re clearly having a good time, which is what it’s all about. I intended a dark, unhappy game, but I forgot the basics – people love to see each other’s characters getting shafted, when it’s their own fault…
They don’t shoot each other, but they’re not that quick to check their buddy is in full combat rig when he should be.