The best way to Encourage Your Gamers – Half II

Roleplaying Suggestions Publication #1207

By Jonathan Hardin,

[Comment from Johnn: this is part two of a series Jonathan started here with How to Hook Players Easily Into Your Adventures.]

The Energy of a Motive

Start your sport by highlighting why the participant characters select to journey. Is it for glory and fame? Wealth and Riches? Absolution? Understanding the motivation of the participant characters helps you design quests and encounters that talk on to what gamers need. Watch your video games run with extra group engagement while you construct character motivations and make these a part of your quests and encounters.

The place Do You Place the Motivation?

Activate motivation every session by hinting at it in your narrative introduction. Do you bear in mind methods to write up an introduction to start out off your classes? Place the motivation there.

For instance, a personality’s motivation is to be taught the celebrities. Bringing to gentle the motivation might look one thing like this sport:

GM: The week drones on because the warrior carries buckets of sand for the lizard overlords. Warrior, your physique begins to interrupt beneath the stress and you need to succeed with a power take a look at or take some extent of exhaustion. Nonetheless, roll with benefit since you’ll be able to see the celebrities at evening.

Participant: That is sensible, as a result of at some point my character needs to be taught the magic of the celebrities!

Bake the Motivation Into the Quest

Assign motivations to participant characters with none. This helps these gamers give attention to enjoying moderately than writing up backstories, and ensures each PC has one thing to battle for.

Your encounters and quests won’t go to waste now since you possibly can construct them to completely go well with the PCs. This technique works particularly nicely with new gamers who’re nonetheless grappling with the foundations.


Gamers in a brand new sci-fi sport present up with characters generated however with out motivations. So the GM assigns motives:

  • House Marine Alex needs to uncover new life within the galaxy
  • House Marine Jordan needs to receive rank within the empire
  • Officer Blake wishes to collect info for a secret group
  • Medic Max needs to discover a remedy for an sickness

Every participant character can benefit from the sport whereas the sport grasp assigns the motivations outright after which builds the encounters round them.

On this instance, we create a quest to go to an deserted house colony and return mysterious cargo to the outpost. This quest supplies encounter rewards that uncover new life, serve the empire loyally, receive info to promote, and discover a clue to curing Max’s sickness.

Collaboration is Welcome

Collect your group to take part within the growth of every character’s motivations. To do that, ask every participant to decide on an individual, place, or factor to anchor of their character. This ensures, with the creativity of your gamers, that motivations nonetheless drive the hunt.


NPCs are sometimes the best anchor as a result of linking a PC to this particular person fosters empathy and hooks them into the hunt. Whether or not this particular person is a sufferer or a villain, they both want one thing or are inflicting issues. They make nice quest givers and quest makers.


Areas in peace are usually not an excellent anchor. They need to be threatened with battle. As soon as a battle arises, the place can anchor participant characters to the hunt. Additionally, locations but to be found present a wonderful lure for a personality to get out and journey.


Jewellery, relics, tomes, and different particular objects, if desired by the participant characters, can preserve the cube rolling because the occasion searches for no matter is lacking. Improve the dynamic of this anchor by one other faction wanting the identical factor.

Motives are the Promise of Reward

Every motivation powers the sport. The reward is reaching the aim of that motivation. If the participant character serves a pal, the reward is the continued friendship. In the event that they shield a land, the reward is that land. In the event that they want a factor, as soon as discovered, that factor is the reward.

Motivations are just like the covers of a e book. From open to shut, they supply construction so we will inform the story. Could your story proceed!

RPT GM Suggestions

Suggestions from and for our fellow Roleplaying Suggestions GMs to assist us have extra enjoyable at each sport.

The best way to Measure Map Distance

RPT GM Sarah requested me:

“…methods to translate distance on the Breath of the Wild map. Clearly there’s a set period of time it takes to journey in dnd with varied sorts of transportation and actions whereas touring.

“I can’t fairly determine how decide how lengthy it could take to journey on common, say to The Nice Plateau, then apply that to the remainder of the map. I’d simply order an enormous poster of the map from the sport and say each inch is three miles or one thing simply to start out.”

Thanks for the query, Sarah. Three belongings you may strive:

1. Put a distance legend in your digital map. I’m sort of an “ish” GM in relation to journey. So I’m glad to have a look at the marker and estimate utilizing it with me previous eyeballs.

2. Open the picture file in Chrome or browser of alternative that helps add-ons. Discover a “ruler” add-on. Net builders use these on a regular basis for picture dimensions and whatnot. With such an add-on, you possibly can drag and draw non permanent ruler traces and also you’ll get a readout of the size in varied models. You may say, for instance, 100 px = 1 mile at 100% zoom degree.

3. Use a free VTT like Roll20. Add your map and allow the grid/hex overlay. That’ll allow you to depend hexes or squares between factors.

Multi-GM Campaigns

RPT GM Max asks:

We’re operating some sort of experiment. We simply began a brand new marketing campaign free roaming round Westgate in Faerun in D&D 5e. Since all of us have little time however excessive spirit we thought of a solution to break up the GM duty by 3. We’re all kind of skilled so we thought it might work out.

Each GM will get some sort of arc one after one other. 4-10 classes, then the following GM begins. All in the identical group. GMs who are usually not GMing change into PCs. Possibly you might have heard about related tasks and have some suggestions for me and my fellow GMs in regards to the organisation, wealth distribution and many others.?

Cool beans, Max. Thanks for the query. I’ve run solely a few co-GM’d or shared world campaigns. Most notably, the Ars Magica RPG (superior btw) has this baked in with their “Troupe” system. Every participant takes a flip GMing a “season” of gameplay. There are three tiers of PCs:

  • Magi => every participant will get their very own highly effective PC
  • Companions => gamers share a pool of extra typical heroic characters
  • Grogs => gamers share a pool of commoners who function hirelings, plot units, and so forth

There are additionally meta objectives referred to as Covenants. All gamers work collectively to guard and develop their group’s Covenant over a long time or centuries.

It seems like you will get Ars Magica 4E free by subscribing to the writer’s e-newsletter. Take a look at the sidebar right here:

I’m not saying to modify to Ars Magica. However as a substitute to take a look at the troupe play part and see if there’s something there you possibly can scoop on your marketing campaign.

You may additionally be excited about testing RPT#273 » 5 Suggestions For Co-GMing Video games. These are my preliminary ideas. Hope they’re of curiosity, Max.

That’s it for this week’s e-newsletter.

If you wish to chat with fellow RPT GMs about at present’s suggestions or ask me questions, be part of the dialog right here at my discussion board.

Johnn 4

Have extra enjoyable at each sport!


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