View Full Version : How can I invest the other players?

2011-09-12, 07:35 PM
Okay, so, I have this D&D group. We made a homebrew world with Dawn of Worlds, we have a god of humanity who is prone to fits of pique, a God(ess) of wisdom who is named Neru because our token girl is about as imaginative as a sack of potatoes and so I willfully misspell it so I can pretend I don't know it's a ripoff from the legend of Zelda, a god of the wild and a god of the sea, and lastly a god of purity, light and the sun.

The party consists of an elf ranger , an elf cleric of the wisdom god, an eladrin wizard, and a human paladin of the light god. Their players are as follows:
Ranger: He's pretty much the watcher stereotype from the DMG.
Cleric: I don't know or understand this chick, really. She's dating the paladin IRL, but I think she's really here because she wants to be, being that she eventually told us the reason she stopped coming to our Exalted games was that her boyfriend at the time (Who would have been THAT GUY if his parents didn't permaground him) thought it was lame and discouraged her from going. Has the attention span of a sparrow, though.
Wizard: My little brother. I think he's kind of a slayer archetype. He seems to enjoy the combat.
Paladin: Aside from me, this is the only guy who really seems invested in the world. His god, the god of purity and light etc etc was certainly the most active during the Dawn of Worlds part, instigating golden ages and purifications every which way. The dice hate the fire out of this guy, which kept us alive when he ST'ed us in Exalted and has come close to killing him on at least one occasion. He's a thespian for sure.

At the moment I have the party on an undead hunt beneath the cradle of human civilization, mostly because the paladin got obsessive over a random encounter with some skeletons and I had nothing better planned. I have a final-ish denouement planned regarding his god, but for the middle I have nothing, and I want the other players to feel like their characters are important and whatnot too, and not just let the paladin get the limelight all the time.

TLDR: How can I incorporate a generic elf ranger, a generic eladrin nerd mage, and a generic elf cleric of the nerd god into the plot?

2011-09-12, 07:42 PM
You can't invest someone in their leisure activity. They have to do it themselves. They're here at the gaming table for a reason. They want to play the game. They want to be part of the plot.

Ask them what would invest them. Ask them what's important to them. Ask them why they're here and why they care. And then go from there. I assume they're reasonably intelligent human beings and have reasonable storytelling ability between them. Tell them to figure something out that would make them happy, and then run with it.

Maybe let them each set up a scene where their character is the spotlight, and have them direct the session for a small part. See what they do, and then use that as a spark for more ideas later.

A bunch of strangers on the internet cannot give you better advice about your friends than your friends can.

2011-09-12, 07:43 PM
The mage enjoys combat? Give him a long-term goal of the variety (conquering a kingdom, killing his greatest enemy)

The ranger... I don't know what to say about the ranger. Does he have a backstory?

The cleric could be on a holy mission. Maybe you can kill her "church" off later.

For investing the party as a whole, require a backstory, including three secrets (one the character doesn't know), three allies, three enemies, and at least five quirks or mannerisms.

2011-09-12, 08:18 PM
That's helpful, Bearpunch. Thanks!

2011-09-12, 08:25 PM
Sure enough, and just like Xefas said, ask your players what they want for their characters.

Kol Korran
2011-09-13, 04:12 AM
the thing is, not all playerslike to invest in the plot, story or world. some come just for the company, laughs, and the occasional cool moments (i think your cleric may be one), some come for combat, excitment, and getting to kill stuff, their relevence doesn't matter (the wizard?), and some may or may not know what they are there for, usually silent kind of people (perhaps your ranger). some just really love to build their characters and watching them evolve (crunch or flfuf wise) all of my assumptions on your players are very very flimsy at best, but you get what i mean.

as xefas said, you can ask them what they'd like, but i did try this in my own gorup, and got varied responses: "i want twists and turns for my character, making her battle her inner morals, purgging her into a fiery tool of the gods!", "i want to slay the dragon, give me cool battles!", "i don't really know... i want to build her to an ultimate magus. a power housee of spells! yeah, that'd be cool!", "and "look, i just want to play my secret, and see how others react... taking it slowly, you do your thing, i'll do mine, ok?"

a few important things to remember though:
- most players are a mix of desires from the game, though one or two are more dominant. but they enjoy on occasion things out o ftheir usual "turf".
- you can get players interested more, if you combine in encounters and adventures elements from different interests into the same thing, making them conjoined. for example a certain golem might display erased signs of the wisdom god, to be replaced by similar signs, only a bit... different? is there a new wisdom god, or a secret the character doesn't know?meanwhile the golem's battle field also houses some traps, perhaps summoning minor outsiders, and the golem has some interesting capabilites and defenses, makingthe battle interesting for the wizard. (he may later find notes that this was a protortype, meanign the enemy might hold a few more advanced creations... now that would take some tactical thinking!), as the battle goes the paladin recieves a blurred vision- behind the walls of the battlefield, or in it's old clay pillars... images, screaming, tortured faces... he sees his sword, and a shout of relief, but then- great heavy darkenss... then the vision fades, the golem still raging. what to do? and the ranger... don't really know about him, perhaps a mic of types, you really needto know what this guy wants. but even if he has no real interests, maybe you can implement one- the ranger finds an old looking but ornate bow. as he takes it, a voice speaks in his head- this is an intelligent bow, with a story (and secrets) of her own, that have waited for the right hero. she has a mission for him... through the bow, develop his story and involvmant.

but waht is really cool to pull off? get all these pieces somehow mixed together, be tightly related, so one person's interest is involved in another's, making them a more coherent group, caring about each other's goals making them an actual party. this is the stage where the game blossoms.

- not all encounters and adventures have to involve the players from head to toe, but try to provie at least 3 such moments for player for session, andyou're golden.

hope this made sense, and that it helps. goodluck!