Friday, December 13, 2013

A Novel Solution

A novel solution: what’s the best advice you’ve borrowed from a totally different field?

“Yes, and…”

Role Playing games are a collaborative effort, and it’s important for that to work that everyone is in the same chapter, even if they’re not on the same page. In that spirit, it’s helpful to remember the improv rule to say “yes and” or “yes but” whenever possible, rather than defaulting to “no”.

“The cavern is split by a deep ravine.”

“Can I use my 10’ pole to vault across?”

“Yes... but the pole might break and you could fall”


or

“The cavern is split by a deep ravine.”

“Is there a bridge or other obvious way to cross it?”

“Sure, but it looks old and may be rotten.”


This isn't something that comes naturally to me. For far too long I looked at Rule 0 as a way of enforcing my vision of the game, rather than allowing what happened at the table to build the shared vision.

Of course, as a DM, especially in a D&D type game, you are the final arbiter, and there are going to be limits on your players' influence. For instance, maybe there is a bridge, but it was cut down and is now at the bottom of the ravine, or maybe the ceiling is only 8' tall. Generally, if there's a good reason the players idea shouldn't work, be honest. If there isn't a good reason, strongly consider going with it.



This is #22 in the 30 Days of Gamemastering Challenge.

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