Adding Depth to your Roleplaying Games
Making your NPC's live
Anecdotes are valuable devices because of their diversity in style, tone, and utility—they can be used by almost any person, in any situation, in any genre. Like any story shared with others, anecdotes serve countless purposes and make situations more interesting for both the characters and the players. An anecdote is a timeless device that has been benefiting storytellers for centuries, so encorporate them into your Roleplaying games to enrich them.
Style it out
Style is has a central role in a RPG. It gives the GM a voice, allowing works of all genres and topics to be shared and expressed in ways that are memorable, intriguing, and different. If all GMs and genres followed the same style, the world would be a dull, unchanging place!
Themes are the ideas that run through narratives, enlivening them with deeper meaning to be found in real life and fiction alike. They create Roleplaying game stories that are not dull but compelling and emotional.
The plot is what makes a story a story in a RPG. It gives the story character development, suspense, energy, and emotional release (also known as ‘catharsis’). It allows a GM to develop themes and most importantly, conflict that makes a story emotionally engaging; everybody knows how hard it is to stop watching a movie before the conflict is resolved, just put that into your RPGs.
Setting the Setting
Setting is an important device that is often taken for granted or easily misunderstood. Creating clear depictions of time and place in a RPG creates mood and moves the game along. Without setting, the plot line would be confusing and boring. A key element of a strong setting is using descriptive details, pulling on the players senses.
Combat in Theatre of the Mind
How we run combat should depend on why we want to run it. Our intent with combat in the theatre of the mind is to stay true to the story and pacing. We want to focus our lens on high fantasy and fast action. When we run theatre of the mind combat, we're willing to shave off some of the tactical details of combat in order to keep things moving quickly from scene to scene while capturing the high fantasy and adventure that RPGs brings to our table.
Hopefully this short guide gives you good ideas how to incorporate theatre of the mind combat into your toolbox to keep your game running fast, smooth, and fun.