Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Letting Your Players do the Heavy Lifting

Peter Sears at “The World Famous Crank Report” has posted on the topic of letting the players resolve the plots in your game:

Some days later i had a talk with Chris Stopper about this very game while we were working in the lab. He mentioned to me that it reminded him of something he and "Evil" Joe Lamothe had talked about regarding PC's.

He said. "Once players get to a certain level, you really don't have to leave them an out. All you have to do is make the scenario tight and close up the obvious holes in the plot. Most of the time, the players will come up with a better way to resolve it."

This is a cool idea and i like it a lot. It takes a certain amount of GM confidence to relax and allow things to unfold in their own way and at their own pace.

As the Blogfather says, read the whole thing.

I’ve been gaming this way for years, and it almost feels like cheating. My players, when they put their heads together, are more than twice as smart as I am. So I toss the biggest, meanest, ugliest knot I can at them and then let them worry about untangling it. And they always seem to find an elegant solution that does more for them than just win the day. It’s rare when they don’t also make a powerful ally or acquire access to some new resource in the process. It helps if you have proactive players who are interested in your setting and eager to jump into the action. If you have such players, treat them like adults. You don’t need to hold their hands or cushion them from falls. They’ll jump right into the thick of things, grinning through the mud and the blood and the pain, eager for more and kicking up more plots and consequences than you can shake a d20 at.

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