Nov 20, 2012

Monday's Game: Process vs. Product

We all played in our usual Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader game last night.  I say "as usual" because we've been playing the same characters for three years.  Our Game Master literally spends thousands of dollars each year on Games Workshop miniatures and spends countless hours painting them in great detail.  He purchases all of the high-quality and very expensive hardcover game books.  He doesn't limit himself to Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, either.  He buys all the Deathwatch stuff, too.  I'm impressed and appreciate it, but as I've gotten more and more into the OSR movement I've been feeling increasingly distant from Monday's game.  Last night I figured out one of the main reasons:  My GM focuses on product, while I focus on process.

Bifurcations such as this aren't always true or useful, but this one makes a lot of sense for me, personally.  An example of last night's game play can illustrate my point.  We were near the end of a gigantic battle.  I had nearly killed a major Khorn demon when the GM simply removed the mini and said "You'd probably kill him next round."  Later on, we were 3/4 of the way through the asteroid, trying to reach our ship without puncturing our hard suits, when he fast-forwarded us to the ship flying away.

I'm all about the fast-forward when not much is going on or likely to go on.  In these examples, however, there was a lot of playing to be enjoyed.  I like figuring out puzzles, making rolls, checking doors, and investigating my environment.  The beautiful minis, detailed story backgrounds, and stacks of illustrated railroady story books are secondary to environmental immersion and in-game exploration.  At least, IMO.


  1. "stacks of illustrated railroady story books"
    Yeah, these are easily the bit of Dark Heresy I like the least. I've never played in one that I've particularly enjoyed in and of itself.

    More on topic, I'd say skipping action scenes was just straight up bad GMing really. Surely the point of the game is to play rather than spectate as he narrates you onwards?

  2. That is my opinion, but he always reads the scripts. I'm working on changing his approach.


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