Theme Thursday: Partying Parties

People play RPG’s to have a good time. However, what do you do when they want to have a good time by having a good time in-game? As a player or a GM, you should understand this unfortunate theme.

Welcome to the living hell of playing through drinking contests, bard rock concerts, gambling games, and questionable actions with barmaids.

Why is this a problem? Well, sometimes they are fun, or funny, or cool. But it gets tiresome fast; Pathfinder and D&D aren’t designed to do these things at length. Even if you like making up rules for dice games, they bog the game down as the story fails to progress during the gameplay. What’s worse, there are always those who don’t much like this sort of thing. The paladin doesn’t just take a back seat during the illegal gambling game, but can’t participate in the slightest, while the rest of the party rolls dice.

You need to recognize this issue when it comes up, and make sure that the game moves forward.

As a player, you can notice that certain players aren’t interested in the goings-on, or have enough sense to notice when people are tiring of the antics. Stop immediately.

However, if you’re feeling particularly clever, find a way to turn your antics into story development! Perhaps your dice game was a cover for pickpocketing the enemy plans. Perhaps your song routine subtly  protests the local ruler, or you get chatty with the barmaid  about nearby dungeons once she’s plied with drinks.

As a GM, you can either encourage your players to do the above or you can take the direct way out.

The direct way out is to have an encounter start! A mysterious stranger slips out the back door with stolen goods, the king’s men bust down the door in search of an illegal dice game, or perhaps a monster was hiding inside one of the patrons!

Enjoy your partying parties, but make sure everyone’s having fun.

-Max Porter-Zasada


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