Thursday, March 8, 2012

DM Preparation PART ONE: My Full Disclosure

I come at role-playing campaigns from the perspective of an adult with a busy life. And, naturally, this affects what I want out of a campaign. Perhaps it's better to say, it reinforces my desires. For one, I just don't have the time to invest in a meandering "sandbox" style campaign where the group wanders far and wide and does a little bit of everything under the sun. This approach is best when time is plentiful and/or DM's are scarce. On the other hand, a pre-packaged module (or an overly prescriptive original campaign) starts to feel like a drag on your day, an activity that takes more than it gives back. A role-playing experience, for me, needs to be compelling enough to clearly justify the activity (or, another way to say it might be: I need the experience of RPing to be it's own end, rather than having any traces of doing it with a "killing time" mindset - RPing because there's nothing better to do.)
  
So, assuming you agree with me that Free Will is the central cornerstone of what makes RPing great... the question remains: how exactly do you prepare for a game where people can, in theory, do anything?!?  
 
I say, reject either extreme and shoot for a middle way - plan, but try to plan simple and plan smart - and plan in a way that you can move the story forward no matter what crazy thing the players might try (or, perhaps better to say: move forward by riding on the backs of the crazy things they try!)
 

More soon!

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