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Questions tagged [narrative-balance]

For questions about characters having equal value in, and contribution to, a narrative - separate from any mechanical effectiveness. This concept is especially relevant to freeform games, or those games or systems which place great focus on the narrative as a driving force.

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11 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to incorporate characters’ backstories into campaign’s storyline in a way that’s meaningful but without making them dominate the plot?

My players have recently expressed a desire to have more of their backstories incorporated into the plot but also they have brought up in their request a different game by another DM that we were all ...
AnnaAG's user avatar
  • 11k
5 votes
2 answers
187 views

How can I balance deadly world with things happening?

My world setting is based on the movie “A quiet place”. Background is fantasy based on Pathfinder for Savage Worlds. The main plot is as follows: some time ago the Raan appeared, creatures (alien like)...
Jorge Córdoba's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
5k views

How powerful are mass mind control spells?

I'm DMing a game where I want the BBEG to feel almost dreamlike: it can physically do little to nothing, but uses mind control and illusions. Until now, it mind-controlled the mayor of a small town, ...
Mauro Giliberti's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to make conflicts in Fate Core less boring?

The group in my current Fate Core game tends to get into a lot of combat and conflict situations that I don't really know how to run in a dramatic way that feels narratively satisfying without getting ...
Empiromancer's user avatar
  • 1,675
1 vote
0 answers
62 views

What's a good resource to learn about advanced character and narrative development? [closed]

I've seen the "50 questions to ask yourself about your character" lists. Those are very helpful early on and I still use them after 10 years of roleplay. I think I'd like to move into more advanced ...
byronaltice's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
86 views

Character development question for a god of Knowledge and Machines: How to make a god an interesting character? [closed]

System We are playing a custom system, and in the system we are all gods that create a universe, having mortals with a primary planet. The mortals are in the early iron age. There is a rotating GM, ...
byronaltice's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
279 views

What should I do about a character's magic items when their player leaves? [duplicate]

I have a group of three adventurers and one member of the party is leaving the group permanently. No worries, it's all on good terms and we're getting someone else to replace them. My concern is that ...
GummiWyrm's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
5k views

Handling a player (unintentionally) stealing the spotlight

Quite recently, I replaced a friend as DM for a D&D game. During that game, I came across something I did not expect: One of the players was just too good. When I am saying "too good" I am not ...
user3399's user avatar
  • 863
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Up to which point does narrative/roleplaying affect mechanics?

I want to share something that happened a few weeks ago, which I am still wondering about. There were two events: In the first time, in a dungeon, we found several imp-like creatures on a room with ...
Ender Look's user avatar
  • 2,989
3 votes
3 answers
176 views

How to keep players on the plot? [closed]

I'm a new GM and am having problems with a particular character in my campaign. The character is very impulsive. I really like the character and tried building the world around the way they play. I ...
TheDreamer's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
238 views

How to quantify importance of a decision to a player, and more tangibly maintain narrative balance thereof?

In accordance with the suggestion, I'm asking this different, broader question than my previous one, in relation to the same problem. Situations in Which Problems Occur Many times, a group needs to ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
179 views

How can a group use bidding mechanics to maintain narrative balance and quantify the importance of various choices? [closed]

Pretext Many times, a group needs to pick one out of several contradictory or even mutually exclusive courses of events or actions. This can involve PCs deciding between multiple things to do based on ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
246 views

Which game mechanics have measurably higher risk of causing spotlight imbalance?

At different times, I have encountered statements that this or that game-mechanical phenomenon should be avoided because it leads to spotlight imbalance and/or narrative imbalance. To clarify the ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
310 views

How do I make a player feel important when their skills don't affect the campaign? [closed]

You know how sometimes a character takes Dwarvish as their second language but you have no dwarves in your campaign? Or a Cleric specializes in killing undead when your campaign revolves around ...
Nick Tydryszewski's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
503 views

Running an Unstructured Narrative

What measures and pitfall should I consider when running an especially unstructured narrative in Pathfinder? In the campaign I am running that has started recently, I am attempting to run a fairly "...
Southpaw Hare's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
852 views

Accidentally made player too powerful [closed]

I'm running a homebrew dark fantasy play-by-post game, which is highly narrative-driven. As such, the players were given plenty of freedom designing their characters and abilities. One of the players ...
Yehuda Shapira's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to facilitate equal speaking opportunity in a voice-only online game

New GM to two players, both with limited D&D experience (we're playing 5e). We're all well versed in written roleplay, but theater and acting doesn't come overly naturally to any of us. Add in the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 8,130
9 votes
0 answers
739 views

I miss social cues when roleplaying. How can I get better at not missing them? [closed]

I know, and have been told, that I miss social cues when roleplaying. This isn't a terribly huge deal when the social contract is well-set and explicitly communicated or the gameplay doesn't rely ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.1k
23 votes
6 answers
3k views

A witcher and their apprentice…

In an upcoming game set in the Northern Realms of the Witcherverse, two of my players decided to come up with this character concept: One plays an older established Witcher, the other plays their in-...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar