It has recently come to my attention that my GMing runs…dark. I recognize that this is true of myself. I like Abercrombie. I like grim, gritty, and even grimdark (see Abercrombie).
But that’s not necessarily what my players like and I don’t want to ring the same bells over and over again either.
I would like my players to describe my games as dramatic, or exciting, or even just fun. Any of those would be better than dark.
I know this kind of change is possible - but does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about it? Especially about how to fight existing tendencies and actively practice and learn new ones? I already tore down my entire trad GMing game and rebuilt it around fail-forward and player empowerment about 15 years ago and it was…tough. Exhausting. There were too many sessions that weren’t enough fun while I was learning.
Anyone have any tips on making this easier? Faster? Or do I just say:
Everyone, I’m trying to reform my grimdark ways, based on your feedback. I’m going to do my best but my instincts are all to find the worst thing that can happen and then crank that up and shove it in your faces and shout, “Oh yeah? What are you going to do about THIS?” Please understand that I may take longer than normal to decide on the results of actions as I seek to moderate outcomes, and please let me know if something has gone too deep into tragedy and we can retcon it ASAP.
Thanks in advance for your advice. From me and my beleaguered MASKS players!