Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Art of GMing (4/5)

Similar to a movie director, a good GM needs to have good actors to sell the players on the story. But a GM must BE all of the actors, otherwise known as NPC's (non-player characters) in a role-playing game. Some RPG's can be played more combat-heavy, while others as more of a narrative, dynamic story-telling experience. It really depends on the game and what the players seem to prefer. But a GM needs to be able to create intriguing NPC characters by acting out and describing then to the players. This provides an immersive experience, where players willingly "suspend disbelief," something we all do when watching a movie. I've seen some players get so involved in the acting that they'll jump out of their chairs and act out their own characters in response to the way I'm acting out my NPC's! Often, a published adventure or mission has dialogue text for the GM to read to the characters, but this can be enhanced by embellishing the words with personality. Is the NPC a bully? A proud person of high status that looks down at the characters he's talking with? Or maybe he's a sniveling, treacherous con-artist, looking for any angle he can find? Preparing a different persona for each NPC really helps enhance the experience for players, and I've often found that players reacted so well to certain NPC's, I brought the memorable characters back in later episodes during the campaign.

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