Where the Ball Lies

We play these games together to be surprised and satisfied by ideas we wouldn’t have created on our own. How all our contributions combine is something no one of us can predict. For that to happen, we have to let go what we individually *expect* or *want* and just see what *does* happen.

We had a great sequence in our Cars+Clouds kingdom game that really reminded me of that, of why it’s so important to not get hung up on what you expect or want, and instead just go with that is happening. To play the ball where it lies.

In this one session, there were *multiple* spots where some player was expecting things to go a certain way, but was then stymied by another character doing something that upended their plans. This was a culmination of six months of play, the big finale, so people had *thoughts*. And we talked about it as players, but instead of going back and cleaning things up to fit people’s expectations, we just embraced the situation and went with it. We followed the procedure and stayed in the moment and had the characters react to the things that happened as they happened.

The result was a richer and more intertwined story than I think any of us would have predicted if we just sat down with a blank sheet of paper and planned it out solo. We confounded each other but in doing so made each others’ stories so much better.

This even extended to the player / scheduling level: we thought we were going to finish the Crossroad that session, and were watching the clock to make sure we could get everything done, but then as more action unfolded and characters escalated, there was no way it could all get done without another session. And it was clear to us that that was the right choice, because the added story we were packing in was The Good Stuff, and our game was far better with it, even if it didn’t fit the schedule we had expected.

We went with it and we were rewarded for it.

    Ben Robbins | March 30th, 2023 | , , , , , | leave a comment