Collaborative Storytelling

When I GM, I want to create epic stories — with the help of the Players. In recent games, I’ve seen the epic-ness happen, as in my latest campaign. The Players are listening to me and each other and bouncing off each other in interesting ways.

I’ve also seen games go off the rails spectacularly when the Players aren’t cooperating. I called it quits on an intricately-designed campaign after just an hour and a half into the first session. I wanted to run an action-packed gothic horror campaign, but my first Player wanted his Character to run into the woods and be a hermit about ten minutes in; the second Player wanted to run a hamburger stand for the Undead. It just didn’t gel, to the point that I was so annoyed I nearly quit gaming altogether.

Troll in the Corner says exactly what I was thinking:

Your GM can spend hours working on making the most epic of adventures for your game all to have it ruined because a party member said, “Screw it,” and went to the local tavern to get drunk and start a fight with a halfling. Being a GM is like trying to recreate The Lord of the Rings, only having no control over what the Fellowship actually does.

To my current batch of Players who are helping make this story come alive in interesting ways: thank you.

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