During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Which RPGs are the Easiest for You to Run?
At the moment the games that are easiest for me, and this again will sound self-serving, are Lighthouse Roleplaying System-based games. It’s not just because I’m familiar with them because I wrote them. It isn’t even because I wrote them specifically to suit my own preferred style of play and the way I like to prep games. It’s because of the way the thing works.
I intentionally call it a system rather than a rulebook. It’s a way to do things, not a rigid construct that demands you follow it to the letter. I wrote in express permission to use what works, change what doesn’t, and ignore anything that doesn’t float your boat. Because it has a simple core mechanic, it’s easy to fake. Yes, I’ve got games coming up with specific genre and setting rules, but you can fake it.
The other element that makes it easy to run is the shared responsibility. Players get to narrate outcomes, both for their own characters and the supporting characters and villains. That takes a lot of pressure off. They help to develop the story and decide where it goes. In terms of gamemastering, that’s a lot of the heavy lifting taken off of my plate. I still need to be flexible and facilitate things, but it’s a ton less prep and I get to have more fun. I feel like I’m participating as a player, rather than being something entirely removed from the regular flow of play.