Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Let Me Thrill You With Tales Of Mundane Adventure

Let me thrill you with tales of mundane adventure.. Said no GM ever.

That's because there is a lot of onus on the GM to weave an intricate and engaging story that leaves their players crying out for more. They have to be original, but what of the players?

There is no real pressure on the players to create  fresh and original characters. Obviously those that do get a lot of enjoyment out of the new opportunities that they open up to themselves but by and large it's a lot easier just to stick to the familiar archetypes. The rules are geared that way, so why would you do anything different? Well, because it just doesn't make sense.

I mean, think about it. Your warrior has just spent days risking life and limb to haul back that sack of gold, and what does he do with it? He spends it on weapons and armor like some kind of survival nut. In real world terms that is the equivalent of someone who works to work, which in my opinion a rather joyless existence but why would the player do anything but? They need those weapons. They need that armor.

Back to putting the onus on the GM.

So what to do? Well if you're players are the kind that fixate on draining every last copper piece for all that it's worth, I would recommend introducing what I loosely refer to as hobbies and obsessions.

It's only a work in progress at the moment but, essentially what you are creating is a means of spending gold and time between adventures that helps flesh out the character a little more. Quite how I would implement this I'm not sure as of yet but I would suggest relating the reward given for the activity to the cost, availability and, legality of the hobby in question.

For example, Olaf The Drunk likes ale. He LOVES ale! So every GP's worth of ale he consumes (which is a fair bit given how cheap it is) gains him 1AP, because his particular is vice cheap, readily available and, generally legal. It's also only a hobby, not an obsession, so Olaf can go without if more pressing needs present themselves.. He just wouldn't be happy about it.

This is only a quick example of a common activity, turned hobby but it already adds more dimension to the character. No matter the quest at hand he has a reason to delve and, the impairing effects of alcohol gives the GM something to play with in return.

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