Monday, March 12, 2012

An Elongated Reply Part:3

Without further ado, lets move on to the final chapter in the series, Part:3!

Wait, I wasn't supposed to fight that?: An innovative PC can and will find any reason to kill anything no matter what. As a GM, alignment is your greatest tool in the ongoing battle of "killing everything in sight; even if it is an important part of the story." Throw them some curve balls now and again. Have a major enemy of the party be good, but motivated by some more sinister villain. Perhaps they come across a creature who is indeed evil, but hasn't actually done anything wrong. Say a local farmer kills a gnoll simply "because it was a gnoll" and that creature's pup comes seeking justice. Do the players slay the creature for doing what is right, just because its race is evil?

Secondly, add consequences to players actions. Monsters have friends just like adventurers do, and in the case of humanoids, the law can always come into play. "You can't put me in jail, he has an evil alignment, the module says so!" won't do much to sway an in-game judge who likes to keep her numbers up.

Metagaming: Every player metagames. Hell, simply knowing about hit points is technically metagaming. A moderate amount of it is okay but lets get something straight: Excessive metagaming is cheating. This includes looking at GM notes, memorizing monster stats for rules jockeying, or using real life knowledge in the fantasy world. Sure, your character knows some things that you may know, but not everything. If you see the GM's plans, you suck it up and keep it to yourself. RPGs are not board games, video games or sports. They do not have scores or winners and if you only "play to win," you are just going to ruin the game for yourself and everyone else. RPGs are about sitting back and enjoying the story that unfolds, not skipping the cut scene to unlock the next achievement. Stop worrying about numbers and start thinking about the game. Who cares if you've fought beholders a dozen times across five different characters? Immerse yourself in it every time! Allow yourself (or your character at least!) to be afraid, pretend like you've never even heard of them before. It's okay! I promise, if you don't tell anyone we play make believe, I won't tell anyone either.

I try to tell players who have a hard time with immersion to try this little trick: Stop saying "I", because you aren't doing anything. "You" aren't picking the lock, Gertrude the thief is. If you want to make your character do more, but have a hard time committing, take yourself out of the equation. Talk to your GM about possibly approaching the game this way...

DM: The hulking orc grapples Reginald, pinning his arms to his sides - the creatures thick stinking drool dripping onto Reggie's visor.
Player: Reginald shakes off the nasty slobber and pushes back with all his might!

That about does it except for one thing, a reminder: RPGs are games of high excitement and drama. Your GMs act as a conduit between you and the fantasy world. They want you to have fun. No GM sits around waiting for the players to arrive thinking "How will I send them home angry tonight?" If you don't agree with something or you get angry just calm down and write a note of it. Discuss it with him/her after the game, maybe even a day or two later. The wonderful thing about role playing games is that they are fantasy and anything can be changed.

Until next time, good gaming and good day!    

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