View Full Version : Dealing with unforseen choices

Inquisitor Tremayne
09-21-2011, 08:41 PM
A member asks:

I am trying to get an online thing going on Obsidian Portal while giving something for my son and niece to play at the table, I was wondering if you could give me a tip or two on what you do to write for the unforeseen choices that your faster-paced (run-and-gun) players might make? any help would be appreciated as you are trully the only online presence that I have seen trying to keep this game alive. thanks in advance!It's odd because I just wrote a section in a chapter for a new RPG that should be published soon, but a section of it dealt with this issue. My advice, never be unprepared! As you game with a particular group long enough you begin to think like them and thus you can, as a GM, anticipate their every move. What I generally do is not really prepare other encounters for what they might do but simply jot down a not or two on how I may handle it. I will still write the adventure as I had planned it but note at certain points alternative options they might pursue. Thinking of these alternate paths allows you the ability to think creatively on how to get them back on track without metagaming or forcing them back on track. By using in-game hints, NPCs, and clues you can steer the PCs in the direction you had initially planned.

I should note that I rarely do this for encounters though. For encounters I make a plan for the bad guys, lay out the terrain, and then let the encounter unfold naturally, since combat can be random and work in favor or against the PCs without any effort from the GM.

Once you begin to write your adventures with side treks in mind and how to steer the PCs back on course, the ability to do so on the fly becomes much easier. Although, there are the rare times when I simply have to make it obvious or impossible for them to pursue a course of action because it just goes nowhere, but that doesn't happen that often.

I might also note that this is for games with pretty solid story lines a few, well planned, side treks.

Anyone else have any advice?