13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.
The earliest are bound to be formative...
My first ever session put me off letting the dice fall where they may, thanks to a near-total TPK by a bear in a side room of a dungeon. (A bear who could apparently teleport...)
My first time GMing, I planned everything out like a Fighting Fantasy book, and found myself having to improvise when the players went off the map. I didn’t handle it terribly well, so practiced that. Improvising systemless games with a friend at school over the lunch hour helped here.
My first “proper” RPG was MERP, which taught me a number of valuable lessons in the half session I suffered through running, about rules density and about adapting systems to settings or the other way around. My second was TOON, which I’d gladly run to this day. This has informed my views on what RPGs are for ever since.
By the time I was in late high school, I was pretty burned out on mission-based games like Shadowrun, so I fell hard for the character-centric Vampire: The Masquerade. I even tried playing music in-session - that didn’t take.
And the inevitable TWH reference - behind the scenes talk with players about what they’d like to put their characters through, with one becoming the Producer to my Director, collaborating on storylines for everybody.