Discover more from Dollars & Dragons
Dollars & Dragons - "The School of Dungeon Delving" Issue #3
The Vineyard is coming soon. Here's a preview + more pro GM advice.
Rock Below preview
The community beneath your city deserves some locations to spice it up! We're providing you with an immense amount of fun narrative to jumpstart your session:
Pro GM advice
My clients spend at least $130/mo to play TTRPGs with me (DnD, VtM, ALIEN.) Some spend $300/mo. How do I provide enough value to be a major part of their entertainment budget? It's not rocket science.
Here's the 4 things I do that make the most difference:
Every session starts with a 15-30 minute RL space where people share about their lives (if they want.) I set the stage and lead with my own goings on. Sometimes it's dating apps, work, projects, my kids, etc.
This sets the stage for people to be comfortable with knowing each other as people. It builds a bond between them as they learn basic details about each other. One player is a librarian, another has an addiction to sweet tea, someone gives anime reviews of the week.
When players feel safe to share, they are more likely to engage deeply with your game, and more importantly: each other. It's difficult in an online environment - Build connections however you can without crossing the line.
You share first. Other people share if they want.
It can be tough to punish your players. Don't look at it like that. Instead, think about how much you want their choices to matter.
If the players wish to fight a foe you've lamp posted as dangerous? Let them. Crush them. Kill one of them, if the NPC would.
But in the same session: provide a route they can use to avoid combat (at least for a while) to acquire resources or allies which result in victory. If they are rude to an NPC? That NPC most likely won't help them. Not without good cause. If they're kind or helpful to an NPC? Make that NPC a valuable ally.
Choices matter. If they don't, the game won't matter.
Players lead, you support:
You can do everything within your narrative power to set the stage, but once you've asked "What are you doing?" then it's their show.
Cultivate an environment of supporting their plans and express how difficult the party would believe something to be. (Subtly lamp posting the difficulty / odds of success.)
Tell them directly OOC if something has no chance of succeeding, if their PCs would know. No gotchas. Allow them to approach you with their plan. Let them to hash out a plan in front of you.
Ask your players what sort of relationship they want to roleplay with their backstory NPCs. Get the basics then take it in game.
Check-in with them when you RP their NPCs, post-game.
Check in with them when PCs die. When they lose. When they win. Check in.
Solicit for feedback often. I ask after every game. I don't force it. What happens is that when they DO have feedback, they give it to me.
I don't argue. I don't get defensive. I don't nitpick.
I do not respond directly to any sort of criticism from Stars & Wishes. I say "Thank you for the feedback". If it's not useful feedback, I don't tell them that. My goal is to have them feel as though they are heard. If they are giving inappropriate or rude feedback - I kick.
Some players will always want the game a certain way. If that becomes a problem, you'll know. You have your style. Stick to it. Respect your players. Respect their feedback.
It might not be helpful except to know how they're feeling. Value it as a temperature test.
Our team’s last ask: It would help out the team immensely if you hit NOTIFY ME ON LAUNCH on our pre-launch page.