Behind the Screen: Listen to your players…

2007 August 12
by Dante

I hate to be the bearer of unfavorable news, but one of the key aspects of being a good Game Master (GM) is using those weirdly shaped masses that are so skillfully tacked on the sides of your head.

Oftentimes, players will just come right out and complain about what they’re not satisfied with if you just pay close enough attention:

“Wow, I wish I had some better armor.”
“I wish this politician would just shut up so we can get back to whacking Bad Things.”
“If we’d only find some treasure I could afford that nice shiny blade on the shop wall!”

All of these things should be cues to you as a GM to start to steer your campaign a certain way. Don’t just about-face and give them all of the things they desire, but at the same time don’t flat out ignore their cries for satisfaction either.

I am a huge fan of building suspense and making rewards seem like rewards, but if you ignore the pleas of your players for long enough they will disengage from your intricately wrought storyline in a (sometimes silent) storm cloud of frustration.

So use those ears. Listen to your players. If your group is anything like mine, they won’t be shy about telling you exactly what they want.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Phil permalink
    August 22, 2007

    Good one. Linked it on my own blog. Passive feedback is often the only feedback on things the players think but don’t want to voice openly, fearing to hurt the DM or DM retribution.

    Good stuff I like your site guys!

  2. Dante permalink
    August 23, 2007

    Thanks for the link, Phil! We hope you find more items of interest, I really like your site too!

    Drop in anytime!

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