Playing an NPC: The idiot

Aka, how to place your ego aside and entertain.

Imagine, your players are out on an adventure and they meet up with a stuck up NPC who gives them a hard time. The mood is a bit tense at the table and the players may struggle to get what they want from this NPC. (And according to some, unnecessarily so.) Not a few moments later, they meet up with another NPC with a similar, if not down right same, demeanor. They may have different traits, but the feel of the NPC remains the same and seems to be a reflection of the DM’s attitude towards the players. Statistically this is highly unlikely to happen in real life but oh so common while playing a pen and paper¬† RPG with other people. And naturally may lead to your players no longer having fun.

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Writing a strong Background

Aka, Let me tell you my tale…

When you see people on the street, at a glance, only a few will ever stand out from the crowd. Be it due to their mannerisms, the way they dress or just their overall feel when compared to the bland and common background.
In RPG’s, these usually turn out to be the quest givers, special contacts or even story hooks designed to stand out so that the party has a clear sense of direction.

Insert more arrow to the knee jokes.

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Creativity at the table

Aka, How to think outside of the box and get away with it.

Consider the following. The house Reyne of Castamere royally pissed off the Lannisters. They end up fighting and the last of the Reyne retreat into their main fortress known for its subterranean systems, defenses and living areas. The fort is an absolute pain to take and could sustain them for a long time. A siege could prolong the war for far too long, being costly and an assault would likely end up with high casualties and loss for the Lannister Army.  Tywin Lannister knew this and ended up deciding on a third option. Close off any and all entries/exits to the fort, leaving only a small opening for the massive amounts of water from a nearby river, which he had diverted into the fort. Flooding and killing every Reyne inside, ending the war and suffering no extra loss in the process.

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Difficult players

Aka, OMG, why are you like this??!

Or, ‘How i stopped caring and learned to love the sauce’.

One of my biggest pet peeves at a table is difficult players. And i’m sad to say that this is still an ongoing struggle after 6+ years of being a GM.

Having a bad group or just any bad player(s) in your group can really demotivate you as a GM and personal experience has at times left a sour taste in my mouth. There can and likely will be points in time where you may question the reason for even showing up anymore.

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