Episode 1514: Shifting Opinion

May. 25th, 2017 10:11 am
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Episode 1514: Shifting Opinion

Overcoming prejudice is a classic character growth trope. If a PC takes prejudice as a flaw on their character sheet, it would be suitable to let them develop and work it off during roleplaying. You don't need to be constrained by the game mechanics to maintain a flaw that it makes sense to remove through good gameplay and roleplaying.

If you really need to have a flaw to maintain game balance in terms of character points or something, then you can quite easily develop another, different one to replace the one that you've overcome. Personalities can change over time, so it's reasonable for character quirks and flaws to change.

Episode 1513: Family Lore

May. 23rd, 2017 10:11 am
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Episode 1513: Family Lore

It's good to have family. Make sure characters in your games have family ties that they can lean on, to give them a sense of fitting into the campaign world, to give them helpful connections, to give them emotional and financial support when they need it. And to give them bloodline vulnerabilities that can be exploited to good effect by enemies...

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Episode 1512: If I Only Had a Heart Made of Gold

If you have an enemy who escapes justice somehow, make sure they learn from their previous mistakes. The heroes shouldn't be able to defeat the bad guy the same time again, and the villain shouldn't fall to the same vulnerabilities or lapses of attention.

Well, unless they're your typical James Bond villain, in which case they should be exactly as stupid as the first time. Only with a bigger volcanic lair and more piranhas.

Episode 1511: Pub Snub

May. 18th, 2017 10:22 am
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Episode 1511: Pub Snub

RPG characters don't throw parties very often. In fact, I can personally count the number of times PCs have attended an actual organised party in a game I've been involved in on the fingers of no hands.

Which is a bit of a shame, because a party is a great social occasion during which PCs can mix with dozens of people, making contacts, hearing gossip and rumours, and trying to keep an eye on the various VIPs, allies, suspected enemies, and other assorted hangers-on. And because of the number of people, a party is a great opportunity for a villain to make a splashy show with some sort of attack or abduction.

If you're blessed with heroes who have secret identities as wealthy society types (think not just Batman, but also the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro), naturally they should attend high class parties. And when their alter-ego is inevitably required to perform some heroic act during the party, things can definitely get interesting.

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Episode 1510: Excuse Me, I Have a Pyre Engagement

Sometimes characters die in a game. (And can't be resurrected.) What happens afterwards is often glossed over or ignored.

But you could hold an in-character funeral, and perhaps a wake. This could be solemn, or raucous, depending on the achievements of the dead and the proclivities of the living. And it's always a good excuse for lots of fire and alcohol. What coud possibly go wrong?

Episode 1509: To Be Orb Not To Be

May. 14th, 2017 10:11 am
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Episode 1509: To Be Orb Not To Be

If you're setting up a specific quest for a typical group of adventurers, you probably need to spoonfeed them exactly what the quest is, unless you want them to jump to all sorts of wild conclusions that only relate tangentially, if at all, to what they really need to do.

Even Gandalf did it. He told Frodo exactly what to do at each step. Take the Ring and meet me in Bree. Follow Strider (to Rivendell). Come with the Fellowship to Mordor. Let's go through the Mines of Moria...

Of course it still went off the rails when Frodo decided to ignore Gandalf and head off into the wilderness with Sam. Let that be a warning to GMs everywhere.

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