It was the toughest battle we had ever fought in our One Ring campaign. We were fighting a tendrilled horror that had survived from the previous Age, and it was slowly wearing us down. Things looked dire.
Jonathan Worent, one of the new people to our group and a fervent player of Pathfinder, posed a question to the gamemaster. He wanted to know if there was any advantage to shooting arrows at the creature from behind the cover of some bushes. One of the other players, Seth Ben-Ezra, gave Jonathan this immortal advice, “Don’t worry about tactics. Concentrate on being Awesome.”
It struck a cord in me that will last the rest of my life.
Who doesn’t want to be awesome? Roleplaying games give you a prime opportunity to use your storytelling skills to inspire awe in your fellow players. You want your character to do cool stuff? They want to see your character do that cool stuff. In turn, they would like to show off their cool stuff too.
The overall rules of a game can help or hinder this goal. Most traditional roleplaying games tend to hinder since they simulate fiction as though it form of reality. This is due to the fact that roleplaying games are an outgrowth of war games. The emphasis is centered on combat and tactics. This often leads to cautious behavior that makes sense in real life, but curtails the action that makes books and movies so much fun.
In the upcoming posts, I will cover some techniques that can encourage awesome behavior in a roleplaying game:
- Player Characters are the Stars
- Death is for Red Shirts
- Frontload Awesome
- Combat is Not the Only Conflict
- The Answer is Always “Yes” (Except When It Isn’t)