As we close out the first third of this month’s celebration of all things RPGs, the day’s word prompt is FOCUS. So many directions one could take this one, but I will focus on one particular aspect — my focus as a DM, or how I run my games.
If you play with a large group you will quickly realize that players are all looking for something different from the game. Some are number-crunchers, some are roleplayers, some are murder hobos, some are a combination of all the above.
It’s hard to juggle the two main types of players — those who just want to fight monsters and those who want to interact with the world.
My focus is on worldbuilding and for me that means creating a world in which all my players get to experience the type of game they want to play. Of course, that means compromises need to be made. The melee crowd has to suffer through a marketplace haggling. The roleplayers have to slog through a bloody romp through a goblin-infested forest.
The trick in juggling these two is playing to the opposite desires in the parts they are least interested in. Shifty thieves in the marketplace keep the scrappers intrigued and busy, and suitable backstory regarding the goblin encampment holds the roleplayers interest.
Some DM play a singular game and if you’re the wrong kind of player for it, you move on. At my table, I try to take all players into account and build a narrative that will satisfy everyone. It’s a struggle, but a worthy one, and I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I lose focus, but the players keep me honest and the world always draws me back to true.
— Bob Freeman