Are your players neutralizing your combat encounters in rpg’s quicker than you can say “save or die”? Well our friend Walt has just those players. But fear not, Walt! We’ll give you some tips on how to beef up a tactical encounter so it’s challenging for your players!
Spurred by listener Steve Orlik, his original email to us follows
Hello BS-ers! I have a question/possible topic for you. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on who really controls the game, the gm or the players. I guess this is geared more towards Brett since we all know Sean has that train thing going on.
As a gm and a player, I prefer my games to be story rich and role play heavy. I prepared the current campaign I’m running to be just that. Unfortunately, the players at the table just won’t take it there. One of the players is more concerned with being the class clown at the table, cracking jokes and other shenanigans. Another is too busy playing host, making coffee, grabbing snacks, and constantly leaving the table. Yet another player is playing through Skype which brings challenges of its own. The last player is a veteran who has been playing and gm-ing for 30+ years who was willing to buy in, but gave up trying because of the other players’ antics.
With all the distractions and momentum killers, the type of game I want to run is near impossible. The table dynamic is what it is. That’s what got me wondering about this subject.
We then point out 7 questions to ask before you start an RPG
- What game are we interested in playing?
- Does everyone own the game and is it necessary to have a copy?
- Who wants to game master?
- How long do we want this game to last? in months as well as hours
- How often are we going to play?
- When are we going to begin?
Side quests, how do they fit in to the grand scheme of the story, or does it? What if the party is sent on a side quest, but it doesn’t serve a purpose?