Thanks for verbalizing this, Bill. To Dave's question: I think this is both things - something we might already do and something you could, if you wanted to, codify into a "Phases of the Boss Fight" sort of structure. Heck, you could do both in the same campaign - this sort of structure really feels like a fun thing to do when you've got a big set-piece sort of thing set up, especially with a kaiju sort of situation or something of that nature. Bill's picked out the thing that's been bugging me about my own play in the last call-it-five sessions or so: I've been second guessing myself a lot, and I'm annoyed with myself both because my second-guesses have been wrong, and ... if I can blow my own horn for a second, I've actually got a pretty good sense for fictional tension, cause and effect, consequences, and the like, so I'm sort of annoyed with myself for not trusting my own head. I think... I think this hesitation is coming from the quality and especially the involvement of my players. (Bear with my for a second while I unpack this. I'm just working this out myself, as I type.) I've made a nauseating number of comparisons to GMing Amber and GMing Masks and other PBTA, but the irony there is that while those games loom large in my gaming history (certainly they were the campaigns with the highest percentage of entirely home-grown plot developed by me personally), they don't make up a very significant percentage (~10%?) of the time I've spent playing RPGs. And even with some of its more groundbreaking assumptions and practices, there was still a pretty traditional assumption about player/GM balance in ADRPG, right? Pretty standard. The toughest challenges in terms of player contributions most of the players' threw me during those campaigns was saying "[my character] can fly, like a superhero - it's just something she can do" and leaving it to me to figure out the 'how'. ADRPG didn't give me a lot of practice in SOME of the new stuff a game like Masks does. With me so far? Okay, so... after (and, in fact, while) I burned out so spectacularly on d20 3.5 (mid-2004), I was getting to story games like Dogs in the Vineyard and so forth, and while we (eventually) had some good games that came out of that, one of the hardest achievements to check off in those games was getting lots of player-created "stuff"; games like Donjon or Inspectres or even early Fate demanded it, and people (well, a lot of my players) found it exhausting. I started playing shorter sessions just because people burned out after only a few hours of this 'GMing lite' they were being called on to provide. I've come at it in stages, over the course of years, really - maybe lots of player contribution and invention and creation during chargen, which then dropped off precipitously as play progressed. I'd try to push for it, but let's be honest - I've always been more than comfortable filling in with my own ideas if folks didn't have an answer ready in the first three to five seconds of a question being asked, so if someone just shrugged or looked blank, I moved forward. I asked for the input, but didn't really bother if I didn't get it, and so didn't get as much practice as I might have, working with it. (These days, I count silently to seven after asking a question. V e r y s l o w l y.) And I think some preference toward contribution is just a ... I dunno. GMing gene? Some folks like kicking this sort of thing in. Some don't. That's fine. I love these games that ask for player input, as a player , because I'd always rather be kicking this stuff in. So. New Play Group. Star Wars. Using Fate. PBTA. All stuff that should ask for that kind of feedback, and which sometimes get such things but not a LOT more than I've learned to expect. Let's chalk that up to getting to know the GM and group? Trust takes time. And then Masks. Whole new dynamic. A setting that both invites and demands invention. Players who are now pretty comfortable with one another. And HOLY SHIT the players are REALLY kicking in their 2 cents gold doubloons. HARD. And... as much as I've asked for it over the years, I've finally GOT the kind of player contribution and invention I've been asking for nearly fifteen years, and I've been so leery of stepping on their stuff (because as weird as it sounds, interacting with this level of co-authorship is actually totally new for me, because I so rarely got it, and it was - even then - presented so hesitantly), that I'm hesitating myself with doing stuff that should be obvious, or lunging forward when I misread the signals. So a lot of my thinking lately has been reminding myself "You are also pretty fucking good at this, so just... go be good at it and don't wreck people's stuff and it'll work out, man. Or you'll fix it. Jeez." Damn I hope that makes any kind of sense. I'm not rereading it until I hit Submit Post.