Player Driven Roleplaying

Traditionally, game sessions are run by a game master who keeps the story moving and sets up the challenges and rewards. Certainly, this is not the only way to run a roleplaying game, but it is the most common way. It is also the way things are expected to be done according to how the Crimson Exodus roleplaying game is written. However, a lot of importance is placed on the players having the final say over their direction and goals. The player characters, and by extension their allies, friends and family, are entirely the domain of the players and they decide how, or if, they want to tackle each challenge. Encourage creative player participation and let the players take the story in a direction that keeps everyone entertained and engaged.

Obviously then the GM cannot rely on the players following any particular story path, but must ask them often and frequently what they intend to do. Furthermore, the characteristics, aspirations, skills, allies, enemies and everything else the players scribble on the character sheet tells the GM what to focus on. This is not a secret. Tell the players that what they write on their character sheet will in large part shape the world around them. Make these things central to the story. Empower the players and they will become more invested in the world and more engaged in the game.

Before playing it is a good idea for everyone at the game table to discuss what sort of adventure they want to set out on. Ideally during character creation giving the GM time to prepare before the first play session. This lets the GM run the sort of game the players want and ensures all the players have the same expectations. This doesn’t mean the GM can’t throw in unexpected twists and turns, or introduce his own ideas, but that the game belongs to everyone at the table.

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1 comment to Player Driven Roleplaying

  • Good point of view. You don’t have to ask the players for what their are going to do or what they want. Listen carefully to their discussions and you will find out many things they want. They will mention most things sooner or later.

    Using the character sheet seems a little difficult to me, because the things written there are only partially meant to tell the GM what the players are planning (depending also on the ruleset used). So I expect quite a possibility for misunderstandings here. I guess discussing the character sheets should be done. I haven’t used this method, but this is what I expect to happen.

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