I spent my recent long weekend at PsyCon N√łught, a Sydney Pathfinder convention. normally i don’t attend the Pathfinder conventions because they clash with the other RPG conventions in the area. but this one did not, and we have been playing a fair bit of pathfinder since i started running one of the monthly game days, so i volunteered to run some games, and I have discovered something about myself in the process.

I am very very bad at running tactical miniature encounters.

I have always suspected this, but never has it been so spectacularly on display. On other tables characters were dying left and right, and my players were barely getting scratched. I sometimes encountered this when playing 4th edition D&D, but it was never bad to this degree. Some of my players didn’t even get hit in encounters that probably should have almost killed them.

i have always been a story focused GM, i believe the story is more important that the combat. yes, combat is fun. but it was never why i played D&D or any other RPG. i think both D&D 4th edition and Pathfinder are very combat oriented games, and that has led to an increased importance of combat. if you look at a 4th ed character sheet, there is almost nothing that is not combat related, and so combat becomes the focus.

I really enjoy running D&D, but if i can’t give my players a complete experience, then should i be doing it?

I think the answer is yes, I will keep running it, and i will work hard and practice running encounters so that I can be a better GM and provide a better gaming experience to my players.

Never Stop Gaming