Roleplaying Suggestions Publication #1214

How To Maintain Gamers of Unconscious & Dying Characters Engaged

When a personality drops in fight, the enjoyable stops for that participant. Whereas they’ll cheer their pals on, they’ll now not be part of the enjoyable.

Totally different programs have completely different guidelines round loss of life 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 akin to 0 to adverse Structure, or something beneath 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 couple of ft every flip
  • Can solely converse 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 lowered capability. And the celebration learns a comrade is about to succumb to their wounds.

2. Purgatory Proper After Demise

On this choice, characters are useless 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 might converse psychically to different PCs

3. Curses!

The participant provides their character memorable remaining phrases. Whereas not as thrilling as being allowed to maintain preventing, not less than this minor type of participant engagement is healthier 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 permit 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 very best. That mentioned, it may possibly generally assist if a participant can keep within the sport indirectly whereas processing their character’s passing or planning their subsequent character.

Notice that you could introduce new NPCs and combatants mid-combat more often than not, so that you aren’t restricted to current foes for the participant to run.

5. Write Their Will

Chances are high characters will discuss across the campfire whereas gamers are away. 🙂 And they’ll sooner or later be seemingly 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 would ask the participant to make a will, bequeath their wealth, or put names of inheritors beside gadgets on their character sheet.

This could 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 preserve concerned by planning their PC’s funeral and ceremony. They will select what their gravestone says, the place they’d just like the PC’s ashes unfold, who leads the ceremony, what rituals is perhaps concerned, and so forth.

Maybe the character died a hero, and also you need the world to vary due to their loss of life. Kin seem, the Baron declares a nationwide vacation, foes give particular tribute, and so forth.

7. Maintain the Character Story Going

Whereas the participant would possibly now not play their previous character, they may also help you retain the plot going.

For instance, a PC would possibly know a number of vital secrets and techniques. How can the remainder of the celebration uncover them to maintain your plot alive? Collaborate together with your participant and have them describe retroactive contingency plans in case of loss of life. Maybe every PC will get a mysterious letter delivered to them. Or a relative or shut good friend whom the character confided in seems with revelations. Possibly the celebration is summoned to convey the physique again to the PC’s clan for correct ritual burial, and that journey has methods of conveying the character’s information from past the pale.

Suggestions From Roleplaying Suggestions Sport 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 might proceed nonetheless 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 ideal conflict.

Although I feel the concept is cool, I’m beginning to really feel just like the idea isn’t very best 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 can 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 linked to that land, they received’t be capable of discover any similarities between the previous continent and the brand new one, resulting in a participant/character disconnect.

I feel this would possibly simply need to 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 simply have enjoyable exploring and interacting with what they discover.

Graphic of section divider

Hey W!

What’s the celebration’s objective? I’d give attention to why every participant and character desires to discover the land.

From my expertise, gamers don’t care about my world historical past. 🙂 Some do, nevertheless it’s a fleeting “oh cool” in an encounter.

World histories are sometimes passive. They don’t create attention-grabbing selections for the celebration. They usually don’t present motivation – why danger 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 meant. I’m going to cowl Kinship sooner or later with my Wizard of Worlds course.

Meantime although, for example, you would create a household historical past for every PC. A line of ancestors. Now it’s private. The gamers get to find their roots. You’ll be able to 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 an alternative of discovering mere details a couple of fictional world, the gamers and characters get to learn the way their family modified the world, what adventures their ancestors had, and what secrets and techniques their households found – and saved hidden.

I hope this helps!

Graphic of section divider

Ending Sandbox Campaigns

RPT GM Steven asks:

I’m fighting 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 preserve branching out and opening new loops, and I’m unsure learn how to convey all of it collectively in a satisfying approach inside an appropriate timeframe. Any recommendations on beginning to push the sport into the tip sport and on learn how to get your gamers within the mindset of closing issues down as an alternative of in search of new threads?

Graphic of section divider

Hey Steven!

You’ll wish to set up a major celebration objective. When that objective is full the marketing campaign can not less than finish on a excessive notice 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 develop 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 all of the sudden making different loops appear small or it closes loops upon influence. 🙂

Now, on the high of a web page put your marketing campaign’s Finish Sport. What’s a great marketing campaign ending seem like?

On the backside of the web page write every loop.

Then increment every loop one “step” – draw brief 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 Sport.

I consider it like a river tributary system. All of the little stream loops finally hit a river that will get larger and greater. Then the rivers merge. In some unspecified time in the future, you’ve bought 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 powerful magnetic drive that pulls many loops, like a villain or an impending disaster. Then the PCs whack the villain or save the world, and all these linked loops get resolved into an ideal marketing campaign finale. I hope this helps!

Graphic of section divider

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. When you’re I can share it however it’s a bit lengthy to elucidate. Anyhow, one takeaway from it was an inventory of things to contemplate when planning an encounter. It’s this:

  1. Outline CR = group stage common +/- 2 in EP.
  2. Motive for encounter / enemy motivation for encounter. How do gamers discover that out?
  3. Reward/penalty/stake on the whole. How do gamers discover that out and when?
  4. Encounter location design. At the very least 2 devices to vary CR.
  5. Arrange enemies/ability checks with respect to CR. Depart an choice to make it tougher and simpler.
    • The place are enemies and Factors of Curiosity? Distribute them, 5-6 fields distance. Have some arrive later, some flee. Use completely different entries.
    • Let enemies enhance one another in ways, spells or related.
    • Cowl? Lighting? Fog?
    • Troublesome terrain? Traps? Risks like lava, floods, one thing awakening? PC expertise focused?
    • At the very least 1 entry and 1 exit.
    • Fight/ability phases? How you can set off/forestall subsequent part? What does NPC need to do, what do gamers have to do?
  6. What does the fight outcome imply for the marketing campaign?


%d bloggers like this: