Ah, yes, Day four of the RPG a Day challenge. Today’s topic? The vision for your campaign. Let’s face it, everyone has some vision or idea for where the campaign they are playing in will be headed. The Game Master may have some grand scope planned for where the final battle will take place for the fate of the universe. Alternatively, the players may just have a small goal like acquiring a mount within the next few sessions.
Both of these visions are entirely doable, and they don’t conflict with one another. The problem arises when the group cannot come to a consensus of a shared vision. This difference of vision, in my experience, is the number one cause of disagreements within a group. If some players are expecting one thing, while others are expecting the opposite, you may have a ticking time-bomb on your hands. Now, I want to say, that not every player needs to agree on every single action that’s been taken. Usually, actions are taken in stride for most players, as long as the scope of the campaign vision isn’t challenged. The key to this, is that you’re choosing a vision that everyone wants, even if the specifics are flexible.
I hear you, Game Masters: “That’s all well and good, but now you gave me a lot more to worry about!” Don’t fret, I have a solution.
Talk to your players.
That’s it! Did you get it? It’s my secret to excellent Game Mastering! We’ve talked about the importance of Session 0‘s before, but getting everyone on the same page only once is ridiculous! My recommendation is to check in with all of your players at the end of every module, if not every session depending on how long you play. Typically, I’ll ask 3 questions to make sure everyone’s still on the same page:
- What did you love/hate?
- What do you want to see more or less of in the future?
- Where do you want the story to be heading?