Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feeling Shut Down

Krista and I were talking about a recent game of Mortal Coil (posted as Arthurian Enthusiasm on the Forge by Michael Miller), and she mentioned that she felt I, as GM, was shutting down her contributions in the game. There is some history to this, both on my side and on her side.

Krista has suffered several complete sexist shut-outs in role-playing situations before, she has shared this with me. The guys playing the game derided or ignored any contributions she tried to make, and I don't think this is a unique experience among gaming women. I think she still carries a lot of this around, and when someone contradicts her in a game, this all comes up.

For my part, as a GM I try to take an even hand. I can also be abrupt, especially when dealing with seven players like I was that Friday. Because of my attempt at fairness, I think I might have gone overboard trying to avoid giving special privilege to my own wife. I know I have done that before.

I am not so sure about this time, because Krista, and Jason, who ended up helping her with her character, got to the game late, and missed a couple of crucial details. I think this contributed, because the first couple of things Krista tried to do contradicted things that Kat had done and established earlier, and I was concerned that Kat's contributions not get trampled on. Krista told me later that me cutting off those things really caused her to pull back in the game, and she didn't feel like she engaged the story because she was hesitant to try to add anything after.

It's a rough balance, and I really don't like offending people or making them feel marginalized, and even in a game like Mortal Coil where there is a lot of player contribution to the game, the GM still has a role as moderator, if only because he has the most information at the table. Talking it out helps, but I didn't even realize that Krista was feeling this way while we played, and that makes it really hard for me to deal with at the table.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Mortal Coil Work

I've been away from the blog for a while because I am trying to finish up the text for Mortal Coil. This should be done and ready for formal playtest shortly. I will probably call for playtesters at the end of the week. That's about when I expect to make any new posts.

In other Mortal Coil news, Jennifer Rodgers is going to do all of the art for the book. She will be doing the cover and six full-color interior images, which will be the main art in the book. All other artwork will be decorative page border and set-out titles. The book will be done in an art nouveau style. As some of the art is completed, it will be posted here and the web page will be updated.

Also, check out the latest play report for Mortal Coil: Arthurian Enthusiasm.

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