5
\$\begingroup\$

I am preparing to run a larger plot via a MUSH that will involve several scenes, but the players between the scenes might change, so not everybody will have the same information when joining scenes. This also means that not everybody is present for all scenes, and not everybody missing a scene will be bothered to read the logs. On the other hand, some players have characters that reasonably can and will gather extra information in the time between scenes. As a somewhat crucial part, it is very frowned upon to use information acquired only via metagaming - one has to provide a reason to know about the stuff to be able to use them IC-ly, and if it is "Hank told Mark about X".

I am willing to distribute this extra information to players asking for them and write up primers for scenes so people can be brought basically up to speed, but I am worried that the information distributed to the asking players is not brought into the RP by the players but lost.

How can I encourage the more proactive players to distribute those pieces of information to the other involved players via IC means?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are all the players working together to accomplish something, or are they rivals with each other, and people might be gathering information to use against their rivals? \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Jun 9 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Glazius while some might be rivals, The information I can give out are only concerning the plot so can't really be used to fuel rivalries really. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Jun 9 at 13:06
2
\$\begingroup\$

Player-initiated summaries benefit everyone.

Since you're presenting information to be used cooperatively, having a player do the summary has benefits for everyone involved in the process.

  • It helps everyone who didn't know for obvious reasons; now they have more information.
  • It helps you, the gamerunner by telling you what the player thinks is important and worth focusing on in the information you presented, helping you run a game that can better play to the things they find interesting. They'll also probably interleave their own conclusions and concerns about the information they found, which can help to inspire you going forward.
  • Lastly, since you're intending this information to be used cooperatively, giving the summary benefits the player giving it. Not so much right when they're giving it, but, well. If you presented information to them that you intended to be important and memorable, but their summary doesn't mention it at all, that lets you know it didn't stick. I mean, when you gave them this information, you didn't tear open the fourth wall and stick your head through and say "this is important, remember it for later!", right? You presented it as a thing that existed in the world and hoped you communicated its importance successfully. So having a player summarize what they know gives you an opportunity to also tell them what they missed.

That last one will probably be the biggest draw, from a player perspective. Getting the gamerunner to "check their work", and such.

"Cool, what's that look like?" feat. Universal GM Spackle

Those five words: "Cool, what's that look like?" are an excellent bridge from out-of-character description to in-character action. They turn you from High Judge GM the Merciless demanding a description to a curious friend who wants to hear you talk about your character.

Just be sure to act like a curious friend, too. I mean, don't use it after every sentence, just when your actual human brain can't understand how they just, for instance, explained the unified front of secret ape police from the crystal dimension and time-traveling birds from Jupiter in plain view in a coffeehouse.

But overall, saying "cool, what's that look like?", and asking followup questions until you're satisfied is a solid way to get people talking, if not as their characters, then at least about them.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since it sounds like PvP is also an aspect of this game, player-driven summaries also provide an opportunity for the player writing the summary to control the narrative and to ingratiate themselves to other players by providing a universally useful service, both of which are also benefits in a potentially competitive game. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 9 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahhh, as you elaborated I realized that my question missed a crucial 3 words: via IC means.Stuff like at least saying ICly "Peter brings Hank up to speed, telling him X, Y and Z" \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Jun 9 at 20:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.