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Ask The GMs: Giving Players The Power To Choose Their Own Adventures
First of all, I’d like to thank Mike for his breakdown of the situation. I have one word to say: WOW. Sorry this is going to be so lengthy, but I am going to address some of the best canada goose womens jacket you said.

In addition to having multiple storylines, I also need to say that just because the players are investigating one (or maybe a couple if they get the right rumors) rumors at once, as time goes on, whatever ones they are not investigating, the consequences of not dealing with that plot line becomes more and more severe. For instance, if I have 3 plot lines going on at once, for convenience labeled “A, B, C,” “J, K, L” and “X, Y, Z” respectively. They find out about A, which leads to B, which culminates in C and at the same time X -> Y -> Z but they don’t have time to look into J -> K -> L – the final disastrous best canada goose womens jacket might be present where they have no choice but to address it. But is that fair to the players who spent their time elsewhere?

You wrote:
[Characters need] back stories that motivate them to be interested. A little personal stake in the outcome makes a big difference… [and] to ensure that much of the character backgrounds are open-ended, unresolved, or otherwise unexplained.

When I read a background, or plan a plot point I go by a motto “NEVER is everything EXACTLY as it seems.” Cogs within cogs, and shadows within shadows – Just when they think they have the whole story, some other piece of information is found or needed to make everything fit.

You wrote:
Every significant power bloc should have a defined opposing power bloc, and the drive of the campaign should emerge from the tension, the move-and-countermove, between these groups. And don’t neglect the potential of groups that are being blackmailed into activities they would not normally countenance, or of groups targeting the wrong enemies, etc!

I try not to have it as a “this side against that” I try to have 3 or more sides to an issue. In D&D there are 9 alignments which can be roughly divided as “good, neutrality, evil” and “law, neutrality, chaos” (though I never divide things up that neatly)

You wrote:
There’s usually a vast gulf between what is actually happening and what the general public thinks is happening. Generate rumours that describe the latter, and pre-load your characters with them. These are usually the mere tip of the iceberg in comparison to the real story, but these breadcrumbs are starting points. Generate rumors that describe the latter, and pre-load your characters with them. These are usually the mere tip of the iceberg in comparison to the real story, but these breadcrumbs are starting points.

Maybe that’s the core of some of the problem(s) I’ve been having. I’ve told way TOO much of what actually IS going on vs. what people think is going on. But what’s wrong with the way I did things? Everyone can have their own character stories, their own reason (and sometimes *no* particular reason) to be in town – in essence side stories to the main plotlines, and each of the side plots add depth to the overall storyline, and may or may not be (ultimately) relevant to the overall plot.

You wrote:
Each PC, by virtue of who they are and who they have had contact with, will be ‘exposed’ to this propaganda, which can also be stated in the form of rumours; their relationship with the source will dictate the level of credibility.

Sometimes the ‘truth’ of the situation is far uglier than anything that can be (reasonably) believed, even if it IS the truth. (Briefly), an example of this was when a character I had introduced in a one on one game showed up stark raving mad. She knew a good portion of what was going on, but no one would believe her (in fact she was so mad the players didn’t even ATTEMPT to hear her out)

You wrote:
One of the best techniques is to treat the character background generation process as a series of mini one-on-one roleplaying sessions.

I’ve done this, but kinda in reverse. I gave the rumors out and they did a RP session to find out more. One person’s RP gave them a LOT more information than I had originally planned on giving out, but the rolls were in their favor (and with rolls THAT good, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show a bit more of the picture)

You wrote:
You don’t have to decide on the outcome just yet – these are events that are taking place concurrently with the PCs adventures, and in which they may take a passing interest or even an active involvement.

I was trying to build a game around their active involvement, making the rumors the ONLY things the PCs actively were involved in. Maybe that’s another problem in my approach.

You wrote:
Every faction should always be doing something to bring advantage to themselves and disadvantage (or discomfort) to their enemies – even if they are nominally on the same side!

What about factions so new that they seem really to have no sides, save their own? No one actively opposes them per se, but no one that takes an interest in their activities either.

You wrote:
[Regarding plot/ actions some will be] brief and opportunist others subtle, preplanned, and long-term.

Is there such a best canada goose womens jacket in a campaign where something is simply too big to be stopped? Even if they “nip it in the bud” there, similar [possibly even unrelated] events happening elsewhere bring it about anyways – tho maybe not in the same way I had originally planned? Or is that wholesale cheating on the behalf of the DM?

You wrote:
Rumours are no good if you don’t sell them to the players through roleplay. Any tavern scene should involve a chat with the local gossip to get the latest unofficial news and a sense of local affairs.
I completely agree. Though if I had to give EVERY rumor out via bar conversation that would be tiresome. Some of the “essence” of the rumors I have them experiencing directly. Some of them I had them start out with (having them roll for which rumors they got)

You wrote:
Your players will put 2+2 together and come out with 7 on a regular basis.

That’s happened to me and they were putting together things that had nothing to do with each other (and couldn’t, in fact because of their disparity of locations)

You wrote:
Will the player’s knowledge of the truth impact their immediate activities? Then they’ve got it right, and should be congratulated.

Sometimes when they get “7” instead of “4” their actions are crazy, and they go about searching for things that don’t exist. When that happened I FELT like telling them “ok, this is how these things are connected, this other had nothing to do with it!”

You mention updating the big picture. I hadn’t thought of that before other than having things continuing to go regardless of whether the PCs investigated or not.

Oh, a final question: for the sake of completeness do you want to see the rumors I’m starting with?

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