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Author Topic: Advice for a story driven game.  (Read 622 times)

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Offline AragemTopic starter

Advice for a story driven game.
« on: November 23, 2008, 07:52:47 PM »
My friend and I are currently working on a new game that is mostly story driven. 

How can we make the game not very controlling?  We want people to use their imaginations and influence the game, but we want it to be set and restrained within a certain setting and characters.


Is there any way to manage NPCs?  We may have a few of those.

Any other adivce?

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Re: Advice for a story driven game.
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 08:30:13 PM »
Okay, I've had some experience with players taking a game in completely new directions.  Usually as one of those players...anyways.  I've heard the author of a Live Action game, who was finally able to play in his creation, wailing 'I wrote the thing, and I don't know what's going on!'

Plan on having key events that will happen, regardless of what the players do.  Volcanoes erupting, warships showing up, what-have-you.  Plan on the fact that the players will surprise you, to the point of systematically dissecting a problem (or bad guy!) to try to find the right way around it (or the ring of regeneration he's swallowed).

If the players head off in the absolute opposite direction from where you want them to go, send in a friendly reminder (like an NPC, or convenient landslide) that Something ImportantTM is going to happen 'back that way'.  Oh, and on the topic of NPCs, it's important not to make them the 'go-to-guys' for all the players problems.  Players have to feel needed, or else why not let the NPCs take care of whatever big event is going on?


Offline Trieste

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Re: Advice for a story driven game.
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 09:09:30 PM »
My friend and I are currently working on a new game that is mostly story driven. 

How can we make the game not very controlling?  We want people to use their imaginations and influence the game, but we want it to be set and restrained within a certain setting and characters.


Is there any way to manage NPCs?  We may have a few of those.

Any other adivce?

Hee. Welcome to the joy of running a game. :P DMs all over the place struggle with just such questions.

... matter of fact, I do wonder now why we don't have a "DM's Corner" board or something to swap ideas around...

Offline Pandion

Re: Advice for a story driven game.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 04:27:28 PM »
I've seen in tabletopping and in LARPs where DMs have, while the game is still being created, listed the most influential forces on the game. Then they controlled the essential few that had the most impact on the game itself.

Essentially by controlling these factors you, as the DM, are able to act as a herder of the cats because no players have enough power to take the game in a destructive direction. But make sure to leave enough room within the "arena" to allow the players to play even with the invisible controlling hands.