Journey vs Destination

We had some talk recently in the G+ Warhammer Community about whether we focus on the journey or the destination in our RPGs. These questions are never as polar as they seem.

I brought up a few points: Is the GM running a location-based adventure? Did they or the party want the extra part of the adventure that comes with the journey? What medium are you playing in?

For location-based adventures, many GMs admit to just hand-waving the travel portion. It seems best if that is agreed upon by the entire group. Our WFRP 2e GM said he often just uses a "time passes, you arrive" approach.

I think a GM should read the attitude of the group (which our GM has done perfectly and is why I can't tell if it's his choice or ours when "time passes, you arrive" happens). If the GM tries it and a player asks "wait...did anything exciting happen on the trip," or "there was stuff I wanted to do on the way," then it is probably a good idea to play the trip out. If your adventure is the journey, it's a good idea to play it out. Otherwise, reading the mood of the group seems the best option.

Also, maybe a consideration of medium is in order. I've come to the opinion that, for an online Hangout game, screen time is best filled with action. Description, stage-setting prose, espionage, and possibly stories about what happens during travels ("the towns you pass seem to be in a state of depression and defeat, grudgingly rebuilding after the destructive herd of beastmen that just came through") are best left for emails and play-by-post in between sessions. 

Does anyone else have similar or differing opinions about on-air vs tabletop vs play-by-post?


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