RPGaDay: Days 13-15

Another round-up style post, because I was simply slammed this weekend! Here we go:

Day 13 asked: what makes a successful campaign? Loaded question eh? I’m going to pare my answer down to three elements: recruiting the right players, responding to the players needs, and paying off what you set up.

Recruiting the right players is probably the most basic of my picks, but we can’t forget our fundamentals. The importance of bringing together players that are interested in telling the story together, dig what you’re bringing, and, possibly the most crucial thing, are reliable cannot be understated. Even a single player that doesn’t jive can threaten the longevity of your campaign.

Responding to the players needs is a gooey way of saying “listen to what your players want to do and let them do it”. Unless one is running a very ridged module, it behoves us as GM’s to pick up on the ideas that are important to the player characters, weaving them into story. When the players go left and you want them to go right, let it ride: the results could be spectacular.

Paying it all off, whether it be an arc you established in session one, or something new a player brought in randomly, always remember to pay it off. Remember that weasely middle-man in session 3 that swore to pay the PC’s back? Don’t forget to have him send several large, meaty men to harry the player characters…even if it is several sessions later. That pay off will create a sense of immersion, of realness to the world you and your players are building, that can’t be beat!

Day 14 asked: what dream team of players would you assemble? Not gonna lie, my current regulars: Dennis Kellogg, Ian White, John Lamb, Mathew Bryan, and Thomas Elembolm are all pretty killer. I wouldn’t mind playing with John Alan Large  of Red Dice Diaries and the Niche Master known as FaunTrodden again. My biggest hope in this regard would be to continue to meet awesome players and game masters!

Day 15 asked: what sources to you turn to for inspiration in RPG’s?  Finally, a nice easy one! For me, my inspirations tend to draw directly from a source material that I want to play in. Am I feeling a bit urban fantasy with a dash of noir – grab The Dresden Files RPG and go. Feeling nostalgic for Dragon Age: Origins – start up a game of the Dragon Age RPG.

As a GM, I tend to look at the story I have, the players and their characters for sources of internal inspiration. I’ll also pull from life or historical experience, and mythology, if the setting is appropriate for it. Inspiration is literally all around us, and it’s up to us to recognize it.

I hope to be back on daily tomorrow with kind of a silly one: what historical person would you like to play at your table? Come back to find out the answer tomorrow!


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