The Downside With Maps – Roleplaying Ideas

Roleplaying Ideas Publication #1201

Transient Phrase From Johnn

As we speak I’ve some ideas for when gamers get distracted by your stunning maps and don’t take note of your encounter particulars. However earlier than moving into these, I needed to say there are further some Reader Ideas this situation on the finish you may need to take a look at.

As well as, I’ve a few Wizard of Journey updates for members:

Zoom Recording With Encounter Workshop

Saturday’s Zoom name recording is up. Obtainable to Silver+ Wizards. This name additionally incorporates a full tutorial on how you can polish boring encounters utilizing 4 of my strategies:

  • The 5Ps (Individuals, Locations, Items, Predicaments, and Perils)
  • The 4Cs (Conflicts, Constraints, Prices, Penalties)
  • Encounter Paths
  • The 5 Actions (Parley, Trick, Uncover, Fight, Keep away from)

We took a boring encounter at random and created a number of components utilizing these strategies to make it way more fascinating for example of what you are able to do with any encounters you are worried will land flat.

Free Course on The way to Use Roll20

On the weekend I additionally posted an exquisite course from Wizard of Journey @Nemsoli: From 0 to twenty with Roll20. This sequence of movies will stroll you thru getting began with Roll20 and on to mastering it.

The course is no-charge and solely requires a free account registration at my Marketing campaign Neighborhood discussion board.

Change into a Roll20 grasp right here.

That’s it for the information. Let’s transfer on to The Downside With Maps and a few ideas out of your fellow RPT GMs.

Have a game-full week!

—  Johnn

The Downside With Maps

By Johnn 4

A great good friend requested me on Discord the opposite day about maintaining gamers’ imaginations and curiosity engaged:

One factor I’ve seen about my VTT video games is a bent for it to devolve in the direction of video-game or wargame.

All consideration is targeted on the map and tokens.

Particularly when there’s such good maps accessible.

Basically, I like having photos and visualizations, even for non-combat scenes if I can.

But it surely looks like there may be not a lot incentive to research, search, discover when there’s already an image….

VTT GM: Reveals detailed image of room. “There’s damaged furnishings and a rotting desk.”

Participant: I open the door to the south.

Any ideas on how you can deliver again extra narrative exploration so gamers are asking questions as an alternative of simply transferring tokens?

Nice query. Thanks.

I really feel this isn’t only a VTT drawback.

As sport corporations end up wonderful props and sport aids for face-to-face gaming, it’s the identical factor.

What was a gummy bear for the fighter is now a full-colour, professionally painted 2D or 3D mini.

Prefab maps or projected maps, railroad adventures, cellphone distractions…all of those trigger us to pay much less consideration to the creativeness side of our video games, which I consider is a very powerful.

I extremely suggest Scott McLoud’s e-book, Understanding Comics (affiliate hyperlink), for ideas on how a lot element is an excessive amount of for ruining the creativeness.

Some Recommendations on Retaining Gamers Engaged

So let’s take “do away with all the flowery stuff” off the desk. Pun meant. Some GMs love the gorgeous VTT maps and the cool props and aids accessible.

What else can we do?

Some ideas:

1. Use Scene Artwork As an alternative of Battle Maps Swap to scene graphics.

As an alternative of maps, present rendered scenes. Gamers will fixate much less on a grid or different sport mechanics. Research the artwork beforehand so that you don’t get caught off-guard as gamers uncover and discover particulars. Or, merely say the artwork is consultant, extra temper board than stock.

2. Use Theater of the Thoughts

Flip off the graphics and describe what’s occurring. Some gamers get used to half-listening, realizing the map graphic will fill them in on the scenario. Verbal-only descriptions means gamers should be taught to pay extra consideration else they’ll miss vital information.

3. Add Extra Hooks Into Descriptions

My definition of hook right here is any tidbit that generates curiosity. There’s element that’s vital to us. And there’s element that’s vital to gamers. Too usually we get trapped into specializing in what issues to us.

As an alternative, add hooks every time attainable to get gamers interacting with encounter environments. For instance, as an alternative of “There’s a rotting desk within the room,” we might strive “There’s a rotting desk within the room. You hear a scratching sound coming from it.” Such a brief and easy element is bound to hook at the least one participant into investigating.

4. Focus Extra on Which means

At its core, masterful storytelling takes mundane particulars and provides dramatic context and which means.

Strolling down stairs can be a boring element. However strolling down stairs in dim gentle in a haunted mansion with creaks and groans, and bizarre scratching coming from that rotting desk, turns into partaking storytelling with particulars that beg for engagement.

So add extra context, significance, and which means that speaks to the larger image. Get gamers tuned into the story unfolding to get them engaged, curious, and taking actions inside the encounter as an alternative of heading to the closest exit.

Strive It and Let Me Know How It Goes

To encourage gamers to develop into lively and examine, search, and discover, first pay attention to the way you’re presenting the data. Utilizing battle maps to assist gamers visualize may deter exploration. As an alternative, swap to art work of scenes.

Use Theater of the Thoughts extra usually. Get gamers targeted on listening to your descriptions as an alternative of distracted by wealthy visuals.

Add compelling particulars and hooks that entice consideration to areas and objects you need explored. This helps construct participant curiosity to set off character engagement.

Wrap conditions with context, significance, and which means for that further layer of immersion to get gamers envisioning what’s occurring with extra emotion.

Johnn, with all these fancy and funky props, VTT animated colour maps, and fantastic newbie publishing instruments on the market for impact, how do you get gamers to discover the small print extra as an alternative of being distracted by the shiny? Hit reply together with your ideas.


Ideas From Roleplaying Ideas Recreation Masters

Have a roleplaying tip you’d wish to share? E-mail it to [email protected] – thanks!

Solo Play

RPT GM Valen shared with me a solo useful resource. I like solo play. It helps me be taught new techniques and playtest my encounter designs and 5RDs.

From Valen:

There’s a Dungeon Crawl Traditional appropriate system developed by Infinium Recreation Studio for working solo adventures. Additionally they make conversion tables for changing between techniques (PF1, PF2, 5E, and DCC). The product is the FlexTale Solo Journey Toolkit (an enlargement of their Environmental Encounter system). I discovered it at DriveThruRPG. I haven’t achieved sufficient with DCC to see the way it compares to Sword & Wizardry or The Fantasy Journey that are basic OSE.

Actual-Time Campaigns

RPT GM Florian has this tip for us:

There’s one factor I discovered in my video games as a participant that works nice and that I’d use when being a GM once more that I needed to deliver to your consideration.

Actual-Time Campaigns the place for daily in actual life sooner or later within the marketing campaign world goes by between classes. So the marketing campaign calendar progresses 1:1 like our actual. If throughout journey classes extra time than that passes (very seemingly) then the characters should not accessible for downtime actions or play until time catches up.

Instance: There are 3 characters A, B, and C and it’s Sunday the seventh of March. Two gamers make it to the session on that day and through it 20 days move on account of touring, dungeon delving, and different time-consuming actions of A and B. The subsequent session is scheduled in per week on Sunday the 14th.

C can use the downtime for different actions like analysis or hiring mercenaries and simply sitting in pubs consuming. As soon as Sunday comes round all 3 gamers present up however solely C has an accessible character as a result of A and B are literally nonetheless busy adventuring. The 2 gamers need to deliver contemporary characters.

I play in an AD&D marketing campaign with that sort of timekeeping and it really works remarkably nicely!

QUACKS — What To Do When Characters Fail


RPT GM TC emailed in in regards to the QUACK mannequin for dealing with character failure:

How about including Ability Complication to QUACK?

The talent (or attribute or stat) the PC used is degraded in some way subsequent time it will get used. Perhaps the following process that makes use of it turns into a bit tougher because of the PC’s sudden drop of confidence? Maybe it isn’t tougher however there’s an anticipated facet impact? Perhaps it degrades a attribute for a interval, reminiscent of a drop in Dexterity as a result of a thumb acquired bashed? (Or the brand new Luck or Morale stats in Traveller drop some extent.)

Remark From Johnn: I prefer it! Bodily talent duties develop into tougher with out relaxation. Data talent duties develop into tougher with out new inputs or relaxation. Emotional/social talent duties develop into tougher with out relaxation or on account of eroded relationship. And as you talked about, confidence is a superb issue too.


Latest articles

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here