View Full Version : Putting the players in their characters' shoes

2008-10-12, 01:47 PM
At one point or another, I've tried all the standard methods for getting my players into the game. Signals for in-character/out-of-character speech, voices and accents, props, music, lighting, even the stupid DMG trick of making invisible characters sit under the table. None of it ever really stuck - I guess my groups just aren't "serious" enough. Which is fine, we still have fun. But last session, I had an idea that turned it all around.

The party was fighting a bleakborn (from the Libris Mortis, if you're unfamiliar with them - they're basically frost zombies that feed off of body heat, sucking it and any other heat out of everything nearby) outside of a quarry they were trying to explore. The party is fairly melee-focused, except for the warlock, who had already left for the night. So most of them were pretty close to this thing, and they were feeling the hurt from its heat-draining aura.

Then I had an idea.

"To give you a good sense of what your characters are feeling right now," I said, getting up out of my chair, "we're going to do a little simulation exercise."

I went to the freezer. "Anyone who is currently within 30 feet of the bleakborn... put an ice cube down your pants."

They did it, eventually, though I had to offer them a little bonus XP. And suddenly, the battle changed. It was no longer "Dang, another six points of cold damage," it was "Holy ****, get me away from that thing!"

As a DM, this was the best idea I've ever had.

2008-10-12, 02:00 PM
lol, wow. Thats a cool trick. Good for you ;)

2008-10-12, 02:07 PM
Next you can take a blowtorch to them when a Red Dragon burninates them.

2008-10-12, 02:08 PM
Okay, so, when they fight fire elemental, get an iron rod, and stick it into the fire...
Edit: Darn, ninja'd.

I'm kidding, but that's hilarious, thanks for sharing!

2008-10-12, 02:08 PM
I feel for you. May a-time I've wanted to swing a sword at one of my players heads to get them to stop taking an hour and a half of a 3-hour session to plan out every round of a combat after it's already started.

"You wanna plan during a fight? Fine, plan whilst dodging this - cause that's what your character's experiencing right now!"

This goes double when they do this as PCs with double-digit levels against CR 1 (or lower) creatures.

2008-10-12, 02:43 PM
Ah, you gotta love method acting...I try to play campaigns in an environment similar to where they're playing. Especially in creepy outdoor places, or in dark, spooky rooms. It's very fun.