Monday, May 31, 2010
If you have heard our original podcast you know Jake. If you haven't heard our show be prepared to hear a lot of this:
The [roleplaying] game should not revolve around whether a character wins combat, or not. The characters win, that's what they do. The point is to make an interesting conflict, this could be a simple as a unique combat with strange monsters, or it could be as deeply emotional as a fight on a flaming falling zeppelin over the last rocket pack. In general the more you can focus the battle on the consequences to winning rather than the winning itself, the better off your scenario is going to be. Creating these scenarios can be difficult as you cannot always predict the actions of players. The main thing to do here is to know what your players characters will driven towards. If you have a player who always kills the bad guy no matter what, ignoring everything save for the kill, then you know what motivates him. Understanding the motivations and drives of your player characters means that you can create a scenario that will challenge and entertain them.
I advise that the first two sessions of a game involve feeling out your players. Find out what they will do. Despite what some people will say, people usually fall into easy to identify patterns of behavior. The trick is to identify those actions, and plan for them. Give your players an opportunity to shine using the characters they have developed.