Of Dice and Men: Episode 1

Keeping a campaign going in an RPG is not an easy thing. Scheduling games and keeping players in line is like herding cats. Which is not to say impossible, but rather that you need very well trained cats. Miss a session and everyone ends up forgetting what they were doing the last time they played, carefully made notes vanish into the abyss and those two guys who weren’t really paying attention suddenly have lives.

On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have dedicated players, your life as a game master is made so much easier. Being a dedicated player isn’t just knowing to show up on time, always having your character sheet and telling your GM in advance if you can’t make it. It’s about understanding your role in the story.

A players role in the game is to help everyone have a good time and keep things moving along. Little things like not interrupting each other, and paying attention when NPCs talk can go a long way in making an RPG session more enjoyable. A slightly less obvious part of being a player is creating a character that fits the story or the setting.

It’s easy to get carried away when creating a character. Everyone wants to play what they think will be the coolest frood. But that’s not always the best thing for the game. Sure your dual wielding elf ninja who shoots arrows of pure darkness might be your idea of what you want to play. But does he really fit the setting? What role does an elf ninja have in the story? Why does he even exist?

There is no need for every character to be a massive dissertation, but there is a need to establish some basic ideas. GMs and players should work together to craft an adventuring party that fits into the idea of what the setting calls for, and what everyone at the table wants to play.

This convergence of wants will ease the narrative and make the whole experience more immersive. It will also help with bringing the players back to the table if there’s been a long break and nobody can remember what was going on.

In the end, an RPG campaign is all about cooperative storytelling. With an emphasis on cooperative. If that doesn’t exist, then maybe you should think about playing something else.


Posted on August 2, 2011, in rpg and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Awesome writeup 🙂 But I think it’s more important for the GM to craft something wicked even if everyone wants to play the coolest frood. I find that players who get to play exactly what they want are more motivated.

    Unfortunately, it does make them more rebellious and destructive when something bad happens to their character ^.^ We know that happens often :p

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