Campaign invitations might be your best bet though.
I am looking for a thread on here. I feel like I've read it before, but I can't seem to find it. Somebody help...?
What do you guys think of having an experienced player/DM come to your PnP gaming sessions to play the major NPCs? This player/DM would be privvy to most information the DM is, but not everything.
If it is very important that a specific plot piece happens, the real DM tells him so, but otherwise, he is just given a loose framework to work within.
Would anybody be interested in doing that? (assuming you lived up here in my beautiful, but remote, state)
Nope - no way. I KNOW what I want my bad guys to do and what their aspirations are - and a player isn't going to share those ideas.
And I'm a control freak. I know I can't control my players - so there's no way I'm going to relinquish control of my bad-guys.
I come from a writing and an acting background. To me, this would be more like an ensemble theatre with a ringer and I'm the director/writer, the ringer is the NPC player. Kind of co-DMing.
But I see your point...
Any other thoughts out there? How to make it work? How to make it worth the NPC player's time and make it fun for them...and still support the story arch.
I've done this with NeverWinterNights with me as lead DM and a Staff of from 3 to 7 DMs at a time depending.
But DMs, tested, and approved by me, via a rigorous 2 month process, not a player.
I wrote the major plot arcs, and allowed the DMs when they were running solo, to fill in side plots that fit within the major story.
When we had a lot of DMs around, they'd ask for or i'd assign roles and we'd game it out, with them passing notes to me via whisper channel, as to what to do.
They had complete notes on the history, backstory and motivations of each NPC they were in charge of playing.
Refereeing RPGs since 1977
Pittsburgh Gaming Meetup Group Organizer
i've done this before, but it was only for a single combat. i guest-starred as the main villain. i managed to turn what was going to be a straight-up combat into a role-playing encounter that had the group sweating for a bit. and then turned it back into a single one-on-one combat after managing to afflict half the party with boobie-trap effects i'd managed to plant during the role-playing aspect. ^^
i even managed to get one more of the party after the npc's death by suggesting to this one player that the npc's sword would go really well with their stuff. it was cursed. ^^ very appropriate for the npc in question.
they so relished their victory over that bad guy.
i guess in any case that it depends on trust and knowledge of the person helping out.
Last edited by nijineko; 05-02-2009 at 01:12 PM.
Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet
I've done it, on the playing end. I rather flustered the GM with a list of actions. Specifically I was asked to play Bobba Fett in a Star Wars game. Well, if I'm Bobba Fett, I come prepared, and over prepared.
It's doable, I've never seen reason to do it myself. You need to inform the player of the situation as they will be coming in cold.
Your suggestions were very helpful.
I think that if I ever do find a DM willing to sit in for a few sessions, I'll go ahead and do it. It should be pretty fun.
I have used DM assistants before and found them a great help. They can handle a lot of the simple rules calls and assist if the PC's get split up (I like to separate the players should that happen and run both concurrently). They also offer some interesting ideas for adventures or plots and can even run a few when I get the scratch to just play. I had realized that no one else DM'ed other then me at a certain time and decided the only way I would change that is by training a player that took the interest, and thus the position was born. He helps organize players, places to game, and can stand in if someone does not show or I have to cancel. Overall it was a great help and I'll rarely run a game now without one.
That's just what I am looking for.
Hmmm...now to find the him or her.
Seems like it would work in combat scenarios, but prior to that, the thoughts, desires, direction and goals NPC's have really should be under the GM's control... you are likely to have an NPC do something totally out of character if you are not in control...
That said, it could work with enough up-front discussion. I've done this before with good results, but only temporarily - having a player with no current active character handle some NPC's). Players tend to want to play, not be sidelined to a secondary role. Plus, dealing with player knowledge when they return to in-character perspectives becomes worrisome. In short, i think it creates more a distraction for the GM than the added burden of controling the NPC.
Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.
I plan on doing it next time my buddy comes home. He and I have co-GMed White Wolf before, so I think it will work well.
I was on vacation in my Native Town and played with my old friends for 2 sessions, The DM secretly asked me to play a traitor, my character had the same Class Level of the Party but in reality it was a werewolf.
At the end of the second session, I betrayed the party, the DM played some Dire Wolfs, between both of us we downed 2 PCs.
I think it is OK to invite someone to help you play a complex character during a major battle, sometimes is hard to effectively use all the powers when keeping track of another bunch of minions and NPCs.