Roleplaying Suggestions E-newsletter #1214
How To Preserve Gamers of Unconscious & Dying Characters Engaged
When a personality drops in fight, the enjoyable stops for that participant. Whereas they’ll cheer their buddies on, they’ll not be part of the enjoyable.
Totally different techniques have totally different guidelines round dying and dying. No matter ruling, listed here are some methods to maintain gamers having enjoyable even when their PC falls.
1. The Dying Situation
Make dying a state of being. Create a spread of well being factors or wound ranges similar to 0 to destructive Structure, or something underneath 10, or the final 5%. No matter is sensible to you.
When dying, the character can solely carry out restricted actions. For instance:
- Can limp or crawl a number of ft every flip
- Can solely communicate however nonetheless has most senses
- Can assault at 50% energy or effectiveness
- Can forged spells however should roll every time or trigger a misfire
The participant’s nonetheless within the combat. The character suffers from diminished capability. And the celebration learns a comrade is about to succumb to their wounds.
2. Purgatory Proper After Demise
On this possibility, characters are lifeless however their soul, spirit, or essence has not but left the scene.
- Character leaves their physique and turns into a minor ghost for awhile
- An angel (or fiend) arrives and begins negotiations for the PC’s soul
- The PC can attempt to psychically seize management of a combatant for awhile
- The character’s spirit lingers and may communicate psychically to different PCs
The participant provides their character memorable remaining phrases. Whereas not as thrilling as being allowed to maintain combating, not less than this minor type of participant engagement is best than “You drop to the bottom. Time to roll up a brand new one.”
Nevertheless, as a part of some intelligent world constructing, you would possibly enable these remaining phrases to have particular weight:
- Assault enemy morale
- Afflict foes or a faction with a curse
- Try divine intervention
- Demise imaginative and prescient reveals clues or hints
4. Play an NPC
I’m all for gamers serving to to run NPCs and foes in fight. Nevertheless, this choices all the time says, “Do one thing else” to the participant of a fallen PC, which isn’t supreme. That stated, it could actually generally assist if a participant can keep within the sport not directly whereas processing their character’s passing or planning their subsequent character.
Word you can introduce new NPCs and combatants mid-combat more often than not, so that you aren’t restricted to present foes for the participant to run.
5. Write Their Will
Chances are high characters will speak across the campfire whereas gamers are away. 🙂 And they’re going to in some unspecified time in the future be probably speak about what to do with their physique and belongings ought to the subsequent carrion crawler across the nook get them.
When a personality falls, you might ask the participant to make a will, bequeath their wealth, or put names of inheritors beside gadgets on their character sheet.
This may have an effect on even present gameplay because the participant decides who will get what. Although, survivors may need ideas of their very own….
6. Plan Their Funeral
Whereas not staying engaged with the fight at-hand, a participant might hold concerned by planning their PC’s funeral and ceremony. They’ll select what their gravestone says, the place they’d just like the PC’s ashes unfold, who leads the ceremony, what rituals is likely to be concerned, and so forth.
Maybe the character died a hero, and also you need the world to alter due to their dying. Kin seem, the Baron declares a nationwide vacation, foes give particular tribute, and so forth.
7. Preserve the Character Story Going
Whereas the participant would possibly not play their previous character, they may also help you retain the plot going.
For instance, a PC would possibly know a number of necessary secrets and techniques. How can the remainder of the celebration uncover them to maintain your plot alive? Collaborate along with your participant and have them describe retroactive contingency plans in case of dying. Maybe every PC will get a mysterious letter delivered to them. Or a relative or shut pal whom the character confided in seems with revelations. Possibly the celebration is summoned to deliver the physique again to the PC’s clan for correct ritual burial, and that journey has methods of conveying the character’s data from past the pale.
Suggestions From Roleplaying Suggestions Recreation Masters
Have a roleplaying tip you’d wish to share? E-mail it to [email protected] – thanks!
Motivating Gamers to Hex Crawl
RPT GM W asks:
I’m involved about whether or not my sport fits the format I’m utilizing. Gamers have sailed throughout the ocean and are settling a brand new land, based mostly on a mythologized settling of the Americas.
They land on the east coast and may proceed nevertheless they please throughout the continent. As they discover additional, they’d study this continent is similar because the one they already left however millennia sooner or later after an amazing conflict.
Although I feel the concept is cool, I’m beginning to really feel just like the idea isn’t supreme for a hexcrawl format – particularly for an open desk sport with many gamers that received’t be exhibiting as much as each session.
I don’t suppose gamers could have a lot reference to the land they got here from of their backstories in the event that they by no means really play there. And in the event that they aren’t all that related to that land, they received’t be capable to discover any similarities between the previous continent and the brand new one, resulting in a participant/character disconnect.
I feel this would possibly simply must be a form of “icing on the cake” scenario: the place if the gamers dig deep sufficient and make investments themselves to uncover that backstory, that’s nice! But when they don’t make investments themselves all that a lot, hopefully they only have enjoyable exploring and interacting with what they discover.
What’s the celebration’s objective? I’d deal with why every participant and character desires to discover the land.
From my expertise, gamers don’t care about my world historical past. 🙂 Some do, but it surely’s a fleeting “oh cool” in an encounter.
World histories are sometimes passive. They don’t create fascinating selections for the celebration. And so they don’t present motivation – why threat your life to chase down one other historic truth?
So think about the concept of Kin, which actually sunk residence after I encountered the Aria RPG, pun supposed. I’m going to cowl Kinship sooner or later with my Wizard of Worlds course.
Meantime although, for instance, you might create a household historical past for every PC. A line of ancestors. Now it’s private. The gamers get to find their roots. You possibly can place every kind of nice treasures, lore, and puzzles involving ancestors. Buried treasure and such. You would possibly even have some characters’ pasts merge. “Hey! We’re associated!”
So as a substitute of discovering mere information a couple of fictional world, the gamers and characters get to learn the way their kinfolk modified the world, what adventures their ancestors had, and what secrets and techniques their households found – and saved hidden.
I hope this helps!
Ending Sandbox Campaigns
RPT GM Steven asks:
I’m scuffling with closing out a marketing campaign. I’ve been operating these two campaigns for nicely over a yr now, and began them with none DMing expertise. Each campaigns hold branching out and opening new loops, and I’m unsure the right way to deliver all of it collectively in a satisfying approach inside an appropriate timeframe. Any recommendations on beginning to push the sport into the top sport and on the right way to get your gamers within the mindset of closing issues down as a substitute of in search of new threads?
You’ll wish to set up a main celebration objective. When that objective is full the marketing campaign can not less than finish on a excessive be aware even when there are nonetheless open loops.
For these open loops, you want some loop killers. Examples:
- The (new?) villain turns off magic by killing, capturing, wounding, cursing the supply of magic. Any loop involving magic now ends with this villain.
- The villain raises a military and whacks a number of open loops because it rampages across the countryside.
- Rivals turn into concerned in a number of loops and begin closing them themselves (and getting all of the cool loot earlier than the PCs!)
- An asteroid hits out of the blue making different loops appear small or it closes loops upon impression. 🙂
Now, on the prime of a web page put your marketing campaign’s Finish Recreation. What’s an excellent marketing campaign ending appear like?
On the backside of the web page write every loop.
Then increment every loop one “step” – draw quick line up the web page to a brand new encounter, journey, or 5 Room Dungeon for that loop.
As you do that, search for methods to mix loops so they begin connecting to increasingly more of the identical Subsequent Steps as you progress up the web page. Your objective is to get down to 3 main threads or fewer as you get near your Finish Recreation.
I consider it like a river tributary system. All of the little stream loops ultimately hit a river that will get larger and larger. Then the rivers merge. In some unspecified time in the future, you’ve obtained a raging river pouring into the ocean. A single water approach from becoming a member of many.
Anywho, I’ve been in the identical boat as you for sandbox campaigns the place I saved introducing new stuff. So I needed to undergo a course of just like the above to begin connecting issues for closure.
And it helps to have a robust magnetic drive that draws many loops, like a villain or an impending disaster. Then the PCs whack the villain or save the world, and all these related loops get resolved into an amazing marketing campaign finale. I hope this helps!
Encounter Planning Guidelines
RPT GM J shared with me their encounter prep course of:
I run two campaigns in Pathfinder, each homebrew, and really feel like my encounters aren’t any enjoyable. I imply I don’t take pleasure in them so my gamers hardly can.
So I figured it got here down to three issues [with one being] poor encounter planning, giving me not many choices to combine issues up a bit.
I got here up with a components that allows you to predict the enjoyable in an encounter. In the event you’re I can share it however it’s a bit lengthy to elucidate. Anyhow, one takeaway from it was a listing of things to contemplate when planning an encounter. It’s this:
- Outline CR = group degree common +/- 2 in EP.
- Motive for encounter / enemy motivation for encounter. How do gamers discover that out?
- Reward/penalty/stake basically. How do gamers discover that out and when?
- Encounter location design. At the least 2 devices to alter CR.
- Arrange enemies/talent checks with respect to CR. Depart an choice to make it more durable and simpler.
- The place are enemies and Factors of Curiosity? Distribute them, 5-6 fields distance. Have some arrive later, some flee. Use totally different entries.
- Let enemies increase one another in ways, spells or related.
- Cowl? Lighting? Fog?
- Troublesome terrain? Traps? Risks like lava, floods, one thing awakening? PC abilities focused?
- At the least 1 entry and 1 exit.
- Fight/talent phases? Tips on how to set off/stop subsequent part? What does NPC must do, what do gamers have to do?
- What does the fight end result imply for the marketing campaign?