Visiting the Archives: Roleplaying Pitfalls pt. 2: Hogging The Spotlight
Today we bring you the second installment of Vanir’s Roleplaying Pitfalls opus, where he details spotlight hogging and how to manage that urge!
Originally posted on 10/10/2007 by Vanir
I’m SO guilty of this one: you have concocted a brilliant idea that puts your character in the spotlight and provides hours of roleplaying opportunities – for you.
Enjoy your time in the spotlight, but don’t hog it every week. If your group spends more time on hastily-constructed side quests that you caused (or worse, watching you complete them alone) than they do on the actual plot, you might want to back off a little bit.
If You Must Hog The Spotlight
Make sure it’s worth it! In our group, we usually set aside some time every campaign for some PC-specific stuff, which is a lot of fun. So when it’s not my character’s turn and I decide to do something completely off the map, I usually try to do something to further the story in my own way.
A good example of this is the time I thought everybody in our party had been captured aside from Bat Loaf and I decided to convince a bunch of low level wizardry students to help me rescue my comrades by showing them how to score with the ladies. Off the tracks: you bet. Hogging the spotlight: check. Well-received by the party: well, nobody threw anything at me (even the Stupid Ranger!) and it was entertaining enough that everybody seemed to be having a good time!
An even better solution would be, if possible, to convince your compatriots to join you on your crazy mission. Your GM’s head might explode, but at least you’ve involved everyone AND you still get to do what you wanted.
There’s a certain point where you just need to shut up and go with the party. Yeah, I know it’s not what your character wants to do and he totally would just leave them and do his own thing in this case. Usually, a D&D campaign is based around the fact that the party has a common goal and is willing to work together to reach it. There’s some leeway there, but by and large that’s how this game works. As I frequently say on this blog, there are other people at the table, and they probably want to play too. Would you rather play D&D with your friends or continue to play in your sandbox by yourself?
Like so many other things, being in the spotlight is best when done in moderation. A little can be entertaining, too much isn’t fun for anyone. Keep the lines of communication open with your group, and you’ll find the right balance. Until next time!