Blog Comments

  1. DarkisnotEvil's Avatar
    This is pretty excellent general advice, and I say that as someone who spends way too much time down the rabbit hole trying to figure out how everything comes together. It's important to have a sense of spontaneity in any setting, and focusing on the players is a good way to go about doing it. Have your list of major characters, sure. Have your societies and races and cities and whatever else you need to set the scene. But use what you have as best you can and don't be afraid to throw something in if your players want to engage a particular plot point.
    In my honest opinion, any good setting holds up to Raymond Chandler's "The Simple Act of Murder": If you're too afraid to break the setting because you threw something in, your setting is probably much more broken than that little plot point. Besides, part of the reason you want to have all those background characters is in case something comes up and you want an in-universe reason to address a player character desire. They're tools. Don't have them clutter up the game unless you need to use them. It's usually better to quietly shuffle someone into the background and pull them back out later than have them hang about uselessly until they're needed.
    More isn't always better when it comes to setting the scene or character engagement, either. Some players just don't want to focus on certain themes or scenes. It's important to recognize that. Some people want to just roleplay, or just want to work on the mechanical tactics. It's important to always be evolving and re-evaluating your approach as a DM. There's also the issue of players needing to be engaged as well. The DM is not a mind reader. Sometimes you really do need to tell them that they're holding things up or not doing something important.
    Updated 07-18-2019 at 11:52 PM by DarkisnotEvil