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Your Players Are a Bunch of Tools

Tools [1]

Of course, you already knew that, didn’t you?

GMs have a number of jobs to do: think about the next session(s), prepare material, engage the players, drop hints and clues, introduce conflict, convey information to the group, manage the table, answer rules and setting questions, run the game (including all the little jobs therein), take notes, write up summaries, rinse and repeat. (Your mileage may vary; not all GMing experiences are identical, etc.)

When you’ve got a job to do, the proper tool can make it much easier. Take a look around at the rest of the table, and consider them as your toolbelt.

Players can handle many of the little tasks for a GM, and help make the game that much more fun for everyone. As usual, talk to the group beforehand, make sure everyone’s on board with your ideas, and check up on the situation later to make sure it’s working as expected.

Have you used your players to help with any aspect of the game? How did it work out? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "Your Players Are a Bunch of Tools"

#1 Comment By Riklurt On November 1, 2011 @ 2:32 am

Thanks for a great article – I had heard most of this advice before, but it’s easy to forget what a great asset players can actually be. I’ll keep this in mind next time I sit down to plan something.

#2 Comment By fredramsey On November 1, 2011 @ 5:17 am

This was very useful. Thanks.

#3 Comment By twoddr On November 1, 2011 @ 5:43 am

One session, I sent my players through a portal somewhere. For me, it didn’t really matter where that place exactly was, so I forgot to think about that. Of course, my players wanted to find out. While they were looking for landmarks that would tell them where they are, the players came up with some places, where they could be. So I just picked one of their ideas.

#4 Comment By Rafe On November 1, 2011 @ 8:31 am

Short and sweet and to the point. Great article, Kurt!

#5 Comment By Knight of Roses On November 1, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

Good, solid advice there. Now if I can just get some background from my players . . .

#6 Comment By Razjah On November 1, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

Kurt, this advice is great and very straight forward. This is something that I would print out and put on a corkboard where I do my prep work. Since I no longer have a cork board for that I will have to settle to taping it to the inside of my notebook.

[4] – ajddvb
Try rewarding them? Bonuns XP or bennies, status, lands, or even some loot. A +2 magic sword at level 4 isn’t game breaking, but will go a long way into getting the players to help you out.

Requiring a background gets sticky, but encouraging one with some rewards has worked great for me. Plus you can tell your players that the more they give you the more ways their character can be central to the story and have it directly effect him or her.

#7 Pingback By Ravenous Role Playing » Blog Archive » Friday Five: 2011-11-04 On November 5, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

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