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Saturday, August 29, 2015

My Players Just Sit There!

So anyway...

During your game session, the players are just sitting around like lumps on a log. Your story has lots of plots. The player characters all have arcs. You've even got hooks everywhere that the characters put on their to-do lists. So why is there no action occurring? Players are uttering lots of "umm" and "uhh" and "hmm", but nothing intelligible.

I'll blame the story. Get rid of it. If you don't have role-players in your group, just get rid of it. Stories enable non-role-players to just sit and listen for a cool story about their characters to be told by the GM. The more of a story there is, the more the players are waiting to hear about how great and awesome their characters are. So toss it. And toss the hooks if you have too many. That only causes players to sit and play chess, taking forever to "make their move" while they decide which hook is the best one to pick.

Maybe none of this really matters, since a huge amount of GMs run these kind of games. Such GMs will tell you, "I've been GMing for 30 years, blah blah."

Ok. So they've been dealing with lumps on logs for 30 years. Maybe there is no help for them. For those that want to try something else though, give a sandbox a try for your next game session. Have your players just role-play what their characters would do. I know. It sounds like a totally different kind of game, if not just a simple 180 from what you're used to doing. But try it out. Do a one-shot session. Not some full blown campaign. Because you know how those have resulted in the past already. And one-shots are great for trying out new gaming styles.

And the players can't be asking you questions anymore. That needs to stop right now. Ok. Now the game sounds even more alien to you.

Good... Good! Ask me questions if you need more details.

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