Growth Adventures #dnd

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a player in a tabletop RPG who didn’t have a plan for their character by at least two or three games into a campaign.  The ranger wants to get even with the marauders that killed her family, the paladin wants to expose corruption in his church, the wizard wants to become an all powerful summoner and the rogue wants to help plan a coup. I mean if you really ask your players what they want to do and where their characters want to go, you barely have to write a storyline at all!

In my most recent game we had a dragon-kin fighter who found religion and became a paladin, a tiefling rogue who (while she didn’t start out with any real plan) found her way into the secretive Thieves guild, and a human ranger who wanted to be the finest hunter in the lands.  Now none of these storylines had ANYTHING to do with the campaign, it was just something my players came up with.  But how to achieve these goals is completely up to us, the Dungeon Masters.

This is where all that forcing your players to make backstories comes into play.  It makes the players think “Who is Trundlehorn, the Dwarven Sentinel, anyways?” and come up with motives, a personality, and something they’re looking forward to.  In the situations I listed before, the fighter was fairly religious before (as many Dragon-kin are want to be) but was completely converted into a zealot when he was blessed by an avatar of Bahamut and decided to devote himself to his service.  Sadly our group went on hiatus before we completed his journey, but the basic storyline was that he had to strike out on his own and face trials of faith, such as wading through fire and acid, destroying a Timat-worshiping cult, collecting pieces of an ancient relic from various foes and completing the restoration ritual to repair said relic.  When all was said and done, his character was to become an Avatar of Bahamut, and walk the lands as the talon of the platinum dragon.  Mind this would have been close to epic tier so he could still be challenged but HE propagated the storyline, I just put the pieces together.

Another example is our Ranger.  He never really had a plan to start with, but he was always talking about wanting bigger and badder foes to fight and hunt.  So I dangled a few rumors in front of him at the local tavern of a monstrous boar in the northern mountains, and he took the bait.  While he didn’t become a god-touched defender of justice, he did manage to get some fantastic armor and weapons made from the remains of the boar.  So you see, everything your players say in the game can be used to make completely new storylines and open new avenues of gaming.  Best yet, your players will love it because it’s what THEY want to do.  Not something pre-packaged and shrink wrapped, but something they actually want to have happen.  A little creativity and some mechanics and bam, you’ve got a great game, awesome stories to tell around flaggons of mead and a happy party.  What more could you want?

~ by darkpatu on October 3, 2011.

2 Responses to “Growth Adventures #dnd”

  1. i have never actually played a tabletop RPG game. unless CLUE counts. does CLUE count?

    • I suppose it could, but only if you really started ACTING like Col. Mustard, what with demanding scotches and lots of harumphing and what-not.

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