A Piece of the Story: Getting the PCs Talking  

Posted by Spenser Isdahl in ,

Getting my players to talk to each other in-character is always a difficult task, and I doubt I'm the only one with this problem. On the one hand, I want my players' characters to build relationships with one another so that, when things get tough, they have an in-game reason to stick together. Plus, speaking in-character is one of the best ways o build a character's personality. However, on the other hand, there's usually no reason for the players to communicate with each other in-character; I'm not the type to take players aside to give them information, trusting them to only act on character knowledge, and thus when they want to convey information to each other they usually go the "My character tells Krognar about..." route.

This is, of course, the faster method, speeding the game along and getting straight to the action without the need to repeat information, but it doesn't get the characters talking to one another. This is fine for my purposes most of the time, but I do want to see the players talking to each other in-character at times, especially at such integral times as the beginning of an adventure. So, to facilitate this, I did things a little different than usual for my last game.

In a Pathfinder game I ran about a week ago, I started the game off by telling the players that they were members of a mercenary adventuring party that had been down on its luck and was scouring the town of Blasingdell for leads on jobs they could do, and had met up back in the inn they were staying at to discuss the information they'd gathered. This information I'd written on index cards and handed out to each of them, and then gathered back before they began their discussion. I didn't quite know what to expect. I'd never done anything like this before, but it seemed like a good idea.

It went better than I could have foreseen. At first they just reported what they remembered to each other, but as they began talking, they found connections hidden in the information I'd handed them, began to see the bigger picture. The looks of victory in their eyes was great, and felt awesome as a DM. The whole thing immediately injected them into the game world, and got them thinking in terms of the fantasy politics and issues around them.

The best part, however? The things they haven't put together, and will only realize later. It's good to be a DM.

This entry was posted on December 28, 2009 at Monday, December 28, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


My character can't put together anything anymore you bastard.

December 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Hey, if you wanna charge an ogre-sized vine monster while the rest of the party is entangled, go ahead, but you have to expect shit to go down :P

December 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM

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