I wanted to try something new this session regarding character and story development. I’ve been listening to a few podcasts on indie tabletop rpg’s (if you are interested, I actually highly recommend the Gauntlet podcast, which is a dedicated group that plays role playing games from different indie systems, but mainly of the kind interested in character development and narration; their website can be found here), so I wanted to incorporate a few ideas meant to foster character interaction and player buy-in. This is done in two primary ways – by asking each PC a unique question regarding their interaction (or perceived interaction) with another character and by assigning a “secret” to each PC based on their character’s own background and observation they may have had in the adventure.
We had a few sessions under our belt, so they weren’t completely new to the world I had crafted, and I had previously spoken to each player about their character background within the campaign setting. I also crafted the questions based on each character’s personality traits, flaws, and bonds. I actually think these are wonderful additions to the 5E rules. Unlike any other D&D edition, this mechanic is meant to encourage role playing. This was the perfect opportunity to delve deeper into each character, I was also very curious to hear the answers to their questions, and finally I also thought this would be a fun way to start the session! As far as in game terms, I justified this roundtable discussion as flashbacks or observations they may have had during downtime on the adventure.
So going around the table, the questions went like this -
Yuriko: Even though you are slow to trust people of other races, who among the other characters do you trust most and why? Who do you trust least?
Answer: Yuriko trusts Helga the most because they bonded over Yuriko’s first ale in the Silver Monkey Tavern. Yuriko trusts Randuil least because he heedlessly wields magical fire with little regard to nature.
Jevin: You’ve learned something interesting about one of your fellow companions. Who is that companion and what did you learn?
Answer: Jevin found something interesting about Fox’s past, namely that he was being investigated by the thieves guild regarding his questionable means of converting people to his faith.
Helga: Who in your group do you worry about most and thus would never leave behind? Why?
Answer: Helga worries about Yuriko the most because Yuriko is an outsider who looks different. She feels the need to protect her from those who may find her odd half-drider features or anti-social personality offensive.
Fox: Someone in your group has very little faith in the gods. Who is that and how do they feel about this possible forest deity, Hamaterasu?
Answer: Fox believes that Jevin has very little faith in the gods and works not for the greater good, but for his own greed.
Randuil: You sense one of your fellow companions has information regarding your secret. You haven’t spoken about it aloud, but based on your interactions, who might that be and how do you know they may know something about your secret?
Answer: Randuil thinks that Taka may know something about his secret because of his contacts within the Shadow Rebellion, who already seem like a dangerous clandestine organization.
Finally, I spoke to each player separately about a secret their characters hold. I asked them to not reveal their secret to the group until the proper time (so I won’t reveal them here). The only exception was Randuil, as his flaw is that he can not keep a secret. If you’re interested, here is Randuil’s Secret.
Stay tuned for the next adventure log!
Thanks for reading,