I’ve looked once more to fate to divine the prompt for this Saturday’s RPGaDay response. That word, selected by the very gods of chance is fear. Oh, if I but had more time to wax on the subject that comes to mind, for in truth I believe the success of any roleplaying adventure comes down to fear itself. Alas, time is in short commodity, I fear, so we shall give the hourglass its due.
Fear, and its kissing cousin, suspense, are the centerpiece of a successful session, and the driving force in a campaign. Without suspense, there is no drama. Without stakes, there is no reward. Without death, there is no life. Without fear, there is no hope…
If you want to master running a game, develop that sense of excitement where there is real life or death struggle going on. For campaigns, heighten the fear with gripping cliffhangers between sessions. The game is always more memorable when the threat of failure hangs like a sword above your players’ heads. Victory is all the sweeter if real stakes are played for.
Sorry, no more time today. Jungle ruins call, and I’m afraid they must take precedence. See, fear is the cornerstone of real life as well. When deadlines loom, then yes, it is often fear that motivates. The same is true on the tabletop. Fear… always fear… to punctuate the dramatic.