Thursday, January 9, 2014

Game Masters are better than any game designer.

Game Masters you have the ability to go over every encounter and make sure each Player Character has a chance to hold the spotlight and shine. 

You can do this simply by having a copy of the PCs character sheet to look over as you design. Asking PCs to keep a Google document updated with their Character sheet or perhaps saved in a shared Dropbox.  Regardless even an out of date character sheet is still better than none.

This is because it allows you to ad pieces to your adventures. If say the PC has ranks in craft (underwater basket weaving) or knowing that a PC can take a 20 and unlocks a particularly hard door that no one else could get through. You will know if the PCs can bypass a prismatic wall or not, because they have the right set of spells or if you need to drop a wand with gust of wind into the game, and give to the last person to have it the PCs would expect. Or knowing that a PC has the Improved Sunder or Improved Disarm feat means you should put in few encounters with natural weapons and include more manufactured weapons, because again this puts the spotlight on the PC.

If you want to challenge them or humble them, make it so things get harder if they don’t make a successful use of a skill the PC ignore. I once had an amazing encounter with a bard who was running a printing press and had high ranks in sense motive. My PCs had tons of secrets that they did not want the john Q public knowing and the bard just came in and asked the PCs questions never threatening them, or accusing them of anything. The PCs and no ranks in Bluff and many of the PCs used Charisma as a dumb stat. It was basically role-played that they were using blatant lies. We still laugh about it; they could have killed the bard ten times over but failed to convince her of a single thing.

You can have a bad adventure but if your players feel like their characters were awesome they will still have fun, and that is the true goal.  

There is no wrong way to have fun, but there is a Rite Way ;)


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