Want your players to have a better game? Then reward their choices from character creation onward. Every role-playing game I’ve ever been involved in has benefited from the GM setting up a synergy between his game and the player’s choices. This is one of the best game master tips I can give a Game Master (or GM for short) who’s just getting started, in fact I would say that these are the tips to making sure your players enjoy your game. It’s real easy for the GM of a role-playing game to feel like it’s his game, but the truth is the game belongs to everyone at the table.
Here is a short video our resident Nerdarchist and veteran Game Master Ryan shot on rewarding player choices.
Game Master Tips: Rewarding Player Choices Video
So at the heart of this game master tip is providing your players scenarios that allow the characters really shine. In a 3.x game (Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder) for instance, fighters need combat, bards social interactions, and rogues need traps to disarm. As a GM I feel like it’s my job give all of my players at a role-playing game I’m running the chance to be the star for a bit.
Game Master Tips: Rewarding player choices beyond the mechanics.
For instance as a GM I love it when players create tons of details and back story for their character. This becomes a tool for me to weave story from.
The players love it when parts of their backgrounds start springing up in the game. It makes them feel like their truly part the world you’ve crafted.
How to cheat as the GM and have your players love you for it.
That’s what I’m really talking about in this installment of game master tips. See when you encourage your players to take part in the world you’re creating it makes less work for you in the long run.
Not only that, your friends at the table will have a great time in whatever role-playing game your running that much more, when they’ve felt like they were integral to building the world you are all gaming in.
Heck sometimes a player will say something exists that the GM didn’t create. Well I know some GM’s want to get their panties in a bunch right away, because a player got creative in HIS world without HIS permission. How dare they! Well I say if it’s just a matter flavor and nothing game breaking I just make a note and figure out how to work their little tid bit into the world.
Running a player driven role-playing game Rocks!
I don’t even like to start writing a campaign for my players until I have at least a small inkling of what kind of characters the group is looking to play. I’ll draw a good portion of my inspiration from them.
If I’ve got a character that is designed to be an undead slayer why not throw her a bone or whole skeleton in this case and make sure there are undead in the game.
When someone presents you with a concept that is completely based around social interaction it’s not going to be a lot fun for them if their always stuck in the wilderness.
One last tip if you just take a couple of pivotal back story ideas or character concepts from your group of players and jot them down most of the time you’ll be staring at several adventure ideas that you didn’t have to come up with.
So to wrap this up keep in mind what choices your players have made and weave them into the game. In the end it’ll make your job easier as the GM and the players will get a lot more enjoyment out of the game.