For day three, we’re going to talk about Thread. Kind of an obscure one, but OK, I accept the challenge! The Thread is the obligation of the Game Master, which is singlehandedly, the best and worst part of GMing.
As a Game Master, I like to design mods as a collection of moments. These can be full adventures, combat encounters, social encounters, downtime, general silliness, whatever I feel could be necessary. From there, it’s my player’s job to determine the path between these moments. Each action or inaction that they take will lead them from one moment to another, planned or otherwise. We discussed this in our series on Railroading, but player agency is the key to a successful campaign, which is why the players should be the vessel that steers the story, where the GM takes control at the stops.
Regardless, these moments that the Players encounter can happen in whichever order they choose. There is not necessarily a logical flow to these events. Introducing the thread! If each of these moments is connected in some way to a grand overarching story, then it is your duty to make at least some kind of sense of what’s going on. You make the connections between players’ outcomes and the course of the antagonist’s actions. Yes, Like some deranged madman, you must put into alignment the events, and coordinate not only the party’s actions, but the actions of those around them. This is the part where plot holes get filled, and clever callbacks are made. Use that literary thread to draw connections, and weave a web of storytelling that leaves your players in awe as if you planned it all from the start!