Shorter post. Busy week!
If there’s one RPG truism that irks me, it has to be “There’s no wrong way to play RPGs, if you are having fun you are doing it right!” It isn’t necessarily that I believe this statement is false, it’s more that it’s not helpful in any way and it sort of implies that “fun” is the end all to playing a game at the table. Having fun is why we play, it isn’t how we play.
It’s so generic that it isn’t useful. Every person is different, and every group is made up of different people with wildly different tastes and expectations from a table top game. Some groups can have a good time sitting around a table, regardless of system or type of being run, or the skill of the GM or players. Some groups like or require a very specific experience to enjoy themselves.
So instead of just saying “You’re having fun so you are doing it right!” Keep your brain on and ask yourself some questions after your sessions are over.
What worked in the game, what didn’t?
What could work if I iterated on it?
Why was a particular session fun?
How can I experiment and introduce new things to keep it fresh?
Is the game helping or hindering me in what I want to accomplish, narratively or mechanically?
Are the expectations of me and my players in alignment?
I ask myself these types of questions in mid-session during the breaks, or after the sessions are over. Fun is important, it’s the most important probably. But don’t stop there. Asking yourself these questions helps you GM and adapt to groups with different expectations.