Behind the Screen: Rolling with it…

2007 August 20
by Dante

And I’m not talkin’ dice, people.

We’ve all been in this situation as DM’s: your carefully wrought plans are starting to go askew, your characters have either overwhelmed the situation or taken off in the opposite direction. What do you do?

If you’re me, you lay back and enjoy the ride.

Some of the best roleplaying and group cohesion comes on the back of success in the face of overwhelming (or at least very scary) odds. Nothing is more demotivating than to put your storyline ahead of their actions.

Letting your players dictate the action and shape the world around them as they play is what makes D&D fun. It gives the players a sense of belonging in the world and getting to affect it. If the PCs do something unexpected and put themselves in a situation to kill the Big Bad long before he does most of the evil things that you wrote into the plot line, consider letting them do it.

You can always take the time between sessions to revise your story to react to their actions, or better yet take the opportunity to shoot off the cuff and exercise your own impromptu creative skills. I have some good techniques that help enable doing this, but I’ll leave those for another time.

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