Light fuse & get away.
An RPG session or campaign can quickly take on a life of its own that emerges in a way that nobody at the table could have predicted. True, there are styles of play where the sequence of events is predetermined, and one of the roles of the GM is to get events back on course if they go awry. However, my biases and preferences lean toward a style where we put all of the volatile ingredients in one spot, light the fuse, and then run like hell.
Of course in this case we aren’t running away, we are all more like bumper cars. NPCs with agendas and personalities, vibrant player characters, a dynamic world, and the fickle hand of fate tossing dice into the arena all contribute to, but don’t control, the emerging fiction.
To prevent the dreaded “faffing about” the game starts at a crisis point where decisions must be made. Likewise, time is important and is tracked. Events in the world keep happening, so if the PCs just mill about, they are bound to be slammed by one of those bumper cars in short order.
This phenomenon and dynamic is one of the things that keeps me coming back to RPGs again and again. Not playing to create, but playing to find out.
Got a match?