No... I'm not talking about the attempt to do a remake of the Hitchcock classic 'The Birds' by Michael Bay's production company... I'm talking more about the style and feel of a classic Hitchcock movie and those brought to us by Michael Bay. More specifically, I was amused at some recent comments and comparisons made about my most recent C&C session a couple of weeks back.
As I commented about half-way through last month, I was preparing to run an interesting campaign session in the city of Freeport. The players wanted a shift in gears from the sort of adventures and material that we had been doing and, always one to listen to my players, I moved the campaign to better provide them a different sort of experience. Of course I didn't just 'drop' them into the city, the party gradually travelled there and the previous session served as the 'bridging' session getting the players to the new location.
The session was a complete success and I had woven in three adventures with elements overlapping each other and providing the seeds necessary for them to follow up on any one of them. To be fair, a bunch of the source material was published material but the integration, implementation, and additional twists were my own. I will often use portions of published material as a time saver but the final implementation always ends up being true to my own unique vision. The players took a while to catch on to what was going on but only because the style of game was a bit different to what they were accustomed to.
At the end of the session when I got their feedback, one of the things that surprised them was the pacing and nature of the adventure. As one player put it, my style of game was typically so much more 'Michael Bay' while this adventure was more 'Hitchcock'. At which point, the other players agreed but were quick to point out that this wasn't an insult. They felt that some of my previous games were more action-oriented and combat-heavy with a solid 'meat and potatoes' storyline. In other words a plot that was nice and basic and a lot of my sessions were focussed on just having some fun roleplaying and rolling some dice.
This last session I ran had a much more involved plot and required a lot of NPC interaction. They had to assemble an array of clues and were essentially piecing a puzzle together. A good city-based mystery. Another player thought it reminded her of CSI because of it. There were two battles in the entire adventure session (I guess it was an 8 hour session) and neither took a huge focus away from the story that I was trying to build. The players had fun but they didn't expect the sort of adventure I threw at them.
Then again, we had largely been doing a lot of dungeon-style exploration and the game had a lot to do with survival and sometimes odds which seemed a bit overwhelming. Everyone seemed to agree that shaking this up was probably a good thing.
I have found out that there are only two sessions left in the current campaign though. One of the players is moving to the States which means this 4 year campaign will need to be retired. Two sessions... two strong seeds that can be explored... and a bit more action. While, the players did like the last session, somehow our final session together will need a bit more of 'bang'.
I guess this also means I'll need to start up a new C&C campaign.