|And if all else fails, throw hordes of|
negative energy squirrel ninjas at 'em.
I tend to let the game happen, letting the players control things rather than driving the action. With shorter attention spans, I got wandering attention and loss of players down irrelevant ratholes. So I need to push a little harder to keep them focused. Note to self: pay attention and do it faster next time.
Kids play for a living. In order to keep the game more interesting than things they would invent on their own, keep the pace of the action fast and keep them making decisions. Reacting to an immediate threat is easier than deciding a direction to explore.
2) Lean on the rules to maintain order
In order to keep the pacing going, I gave each player a limited time to decide what they were doing before jumping to the next player. I'd come back to check on anyone I skipped so everyone had something to do in a turn. I strongly enforced initiative and only doing one thing per turn to curb the tendency to hog the spotlight.
I think that worked out pretty well once we got into it. I think it took me too long to get to that point. I almost lost them to their own devices and fisticuffs over a glowing staff before they united against a common enemy. I almost lost my patience as I had to shout to make myself heard above the 3 simultaneous conversations happening. I gave them too much space to fill before focusing on the situation at hand.
3) Give information explicitly
|Too subtle? Hm. You're right.|
4) Take a break if needed
It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. If there's no fun happening, or if there's no game happening as everyone makes their own fun, take a break and regroup after everyone gets their yayas out.
5) Nobody spent luck points this time
I just realized that they could have spent luck and changed the game significantly. I think they may have still lost in the end, but it would have made the game more interesting. Next game, challenge them more and remind them that they have the power to rewrite the game reality a bit.
This session was a harder game to run, but I had a certain amount of control that I didn't exercise at first. I'm interested in finding out their reaction to retreating from the warband cave instead of standing their ground and thinking they were invincible against any odds. I've got the next game scheduled in April, so stay tuned for more.
Onward and upward!