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This was inspired by a discussion with the GM of a PbEM game I used to play in. When he runs a game, he believes that plot is more important than characters; when I run games, I tend to focus more on the characters and less on the plot.

The problem seems to be finding the elusive happy medium between the two.

I shall attempt to explain: if the players are not allowed to affect the game's story, but only given the opportunity to react to pre-determined events, they may become frustrated, and/or wonder, if the story's outcome is predetermined, why they're bothering to play in the first place.

On the other hand, if the game concentrates on the characters to the exclusion of the story, it can stagnate and devolve into an endless round of characters asking "What do you want to do tonight, Conan?" "I dunno, Red Sonja, what do you want to do?" Here, the problem is boredom; the players may wonder why they're bothering to play when nothing really happens.

There is a balance between the two extremes -- exactly where you fall on the spectrum probably depends on the individual group.

Or maybe these are just the random meanderings of someone who hasn't had any breakfast yet....


( 1 die rolled — Roll the dice )
Feb. 28th, 2004 05:20 am (UTC)
Here's a bit of insight: You can have a character-based game that works really well. The trick is to make sure the players make characters who *will* want to do something.

It's tricky cuz a lot of players are used to being lead around by the GM. But when it works its fantastic - especially for lazy GMs like me. When players figure out that they truly have the power to shape the plot (and this does depend on the GM being willing to give that to them) they do amazing things and honestly play is really really satisfying.

( 1 die rolled — Roll the dice )


The Geek Queen
This LJ chronicles my experiences in geekdom. Feel free to read, but beware of falling dice!

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