View Full Version : Roleplaying Question for GM's; How much is too much pre-planning from a player?

Draconi Redfir
2019-01-18, 02:14 AM
Can't... really think of a better title. sorry.

Basically i'm a paranoid dink, and recently the idea popped into my head to have my character try to talk to an NPC the next time she's on night-guard duty. Game-night isn't for another week though, so i'm not sure if i should message the DM saying "Hey i'm thinking my character will try to talk to this NPC next chance she gets", or if that would just be too much information for too small an interaction.

This is also relatively shortly after i made some claims about my character's race in-game, and then sent the DM a link or two sourcing where i got those claims from to show that they weren't just made up on the spot.

i'm not really sure if either of those things is really the kind of thing you NEED or even SHOULD bother a DM with out of game, so i'm always worried stuff like this will just end up annoying the DM when next they open their email.

Do DM's ever actually feel that way? have you ever gotten a message from a player about something they were thinking / going to do the next game that you would have preferred they just did at the table and not tell you in advance about?

... i'm a little sleep deprived. So sorry if any of those sentences above don't really work properly.

2019-01-18, 03:20 AM
Send a message to your DM and ask them if they mind discussing the game outside of game time, before you start discussing the game?

There's nothing controversial about it - I would take it as a compliment that a player was enjoying my game so much that they were eager to get back to it, full of ideas for what they wanted to do.

If in doubt, just ask. I've yet to meet a DM who only played their game for a few hours a week at the table and then forbade any involvement for the rest of the week, but I'm sure they'll tell you if that's the case. :smalltongue:

2019-01-18, 04:47 AM
Me personally? I HATE that my players don't do this kind of thing much. I want them to bring even the 'little' things to me because I'm honestly not that great at improvising, so when they say "Hey, I'm gonna talk to Random NPC X about Y next session of I get the chance" I can come up with a basic idea of what random NPC X has to say about Y instead of relying on my poor improv. It helps me make a better game for them, and we both enjoy that more.

This is all predicated on the fact that I'm a mediocre DM that likes to over prep though. YMMV and as stated in the previous post, talk to them about it. Ask if they like talking about the game outside of game time, or if it's something that they only want to talk about outside of session unless it's a big deal/issue.

2019-01-18, 04:57 AM
It depends on how important this NPC and the chat is. If it's a minor issue I'd wait until game night, and probably forget the PC asked me during the weak.
If it's an important NPC with an important conversation, one which may require some thought and prep work from the GM, I would bother (and like to be bothered) during the week.

In general, use email. I find getting text messages for all sorts of minor issues quite annoying. If your GM is the sort of person who spends half the day answering emails for their job, I would probably just wait until game night in any case.

2019-01-18, 05:03 AM
If it's just a casual conversation with the NPC, it doesn't really matter, except as a way to say: "I'd like a chance to talk to that NPC". If there's something important riding on the conversation, better tell the GM: that way they can prep accordingly, and the resulting roleplay will be more satisfying.

Personally, if I were your GM, I'd appreciate you doing this, as interesting NPCs and good conversations are the hardest thing to improvise for me.

Generally, unless a GM tells you it's too much, you're good. It shows you're invested in the game, and it's always pleasant to know what players want and plan their character's evolution with them. And in case you're still worried that it's disturbing the GM... ask them ;)

Jay R
2019-01-18, 11:43 AM
This question is similar to "How much kissing is too much on a date?" That depends entirely on what your date enjoys. Nobody else has the right to an opinion.

Similarly, I will do far more pre-planning with some DMs than with others.

My preference is to handle all downtime and individual issues in advance, by email, so the session is focused on full-party adventuring. But it depends on what your DM is willing to deal with.

2019-01-18, 12:33 PM
GM's are managers. The ones you actually like.

And just like any good relationship, there's no such thing as overcommunication.

Draconi Redfir
2019-01-18, 01:15 PM
This question is similar to "How much kissing is too much on a date?" That depends entirely on what your date enjoys. Nobody else has the right to an opinion.

Well maybe yeah, it's still nice to get input and information from others though to see what their experiences are, pull together a general average or consensus on the fact, and then use that information to make sure you don't go over-bored. A lot of people would probably tell me not to go for a kiss after every sentence for example, so i'd be able to take that information to heart and work with it.

2019-01-19, 03:38 PM
Sadly this cannot truly be anwered without knowing your DM.

So I will answer as if that was me. ^^

If I ahve the free time, ask away. There is hardly anything more useful for a DM to prepare the games than Players actually coming to him of their own initiative and providing plot hooks, or just scenery, really. We like that.

If however I should barely have the time to prpepare, it will annoy me.

I hope this helps, though as others have said, jsut sending a mail or message with "hey, Ive got an Idea for next weekend, care if I send it to you?" will likely be a good idea.

2019-01-20, 09:18 PM
I'd go for it. Just a simple "Hey, I was thinking next session session my character might try and talk to $NPC", is good enough for the DM to have something available as an option, if they so choose.

Just be prepared for a negative response. Maybe they have a whole other session planned out, where that NPC isn't featured. Maybe they're not interested in developing that particular NPC's character.

Personally, I would love if a PC gave me something like this ahead of time. If appropriate, it'd let me try and structure the campaign so that it seemed like the NPC was a major player all along, or it'd set up for a similar reveal down the line.

This is also relatively shortly after i made some claims about my character's race in-game, and then sent the DM a link or two sourcing where i got those claims from to show that they weren't just made up on the spot.
I wouldn't worry too much about this. I've had a few instances where a PC shows up with pages of backstory and addendum. As long as it isn't causing any actual problems in gameplay, I generally just skim it and nod enthusiastically like I've read it all. :smallwink:

2019-01-21, 01:16 AM
As I'm currently GMing I'll give info from that point of view.

Assume the two following things are true:
1. GMing is more work than playing.
2. The more interest and effort a player puts into the game the less the GM has to guess or make up.

I have to guess what the players might try next. Plan for that. Plan for (or be prepared to improvise) them not doing what I expect. Set up quests, plot hooks, nocs, information. Organize everything.

If a player tells me they want or plan to do something, that makes my life as a GM easier.