4 ways to leave a lasting impression on your playersWritten by Expy - Published on July 14, 2008
Easy to say. Hard to do if your college years are behind you! Being prepared always leaves everyone happy. DMing a well-prepared campaign is effortless and the players feel that you can handle whatever they throw at you.
If you enter a game session with a great amount of preparation, you still shouldn’t bank on the fact that the players will act as expected. Maybe your great preparation will be of no use… For this session. Never throw away good material. But don’t feel like you have to use it right away – keep it for the next session if it doesn’t match the PCs actions.
Go with the flow. Make things happen. Let things happen.
PCs take interest in a random, unimportant NPC? Make him or her important. Take some old NPC concept or modify an NPC you have yet to use and instill some life into that hollow character the players are suddenly interested in.
Run fast paced encounters. Spice up combat by forcing the PCs to cross a battlefield as they fight through it. Add a time constraint to the adventure. Keep things moving at a fast pace, in the real world, and in the game world
Be original – or not
First time players will likely love a classic adventure. Long time players probably won’t. Does your campaign arch match your players’ experience? If you’re not sure what your players want, just ask them. They might tell you they feel like low-energy hack & slash. Or they might confirm that they trust you to come up with something unique.
Come up with something crazy, completely unexpected. I can tell you that my players all remember that time when the realized they were on a boat but all the paddles on the boat were evil constructs. Did it move the plot forward? Not really. Does everyone remember? Definitely!
What would you do if you had to leave a lasting impression on your players? What if you had only one more D&D game to play? What DM trick would you use to paint an an unforgettable picture, to run a memorable session?
Share your thoughts!