Don’t Be Afraid To Ask – Why?

Hello Miscreants!

We’re coming to the end of the month and things are going to be a little nuts for a few weeks. We’re coming to the last leg of Bringing Home the Bacon campaign, we’ve started on the long task of putting our system in a nifty book AND we’re about to launch a couple of podcasts, hopefully within the week!

It’s all go, and we’re prepping for our upcoming conventions too – it’s nonstop here in the Puppet Playhouse. Oh, and also we have more than one picture where Thirsty and I are faces to the camera. Thanks Kerone!

This week, I’m actually going to focus on something I’ve learnt from playing Blades in the Dark – Why?

Don’t be afraid to ask Why?

A little context to this. I’ve joined the Six and Twenty crew, who play as three separate groups all living in the same world. The system used, is Blades in the Dark. I am not about to review Blades in the Dark, but one of their many mechanics involve awarding XP based on character beliefs, motivations etc and the amazing GM I’m playing with, Videostorecowboy (Twitter / Twitch), is fantastic at challenging us with questions about our motivations for what we do. The system, and the way that the game is run, is very transparent. 

I decide to propose we over pay a dude to potentially foster good feelings – with the idea that we could use them to help us out in the future. VSC instantly asked me why – when all Eclipse cared about was money? Why would I want to foster good relations with my not yet crew mate? It was odd having to explain her motivations. I had a vague idea about them, but rarely do I get the chance to express and explore them more deeply.

It got me thinking: as GM’s… why don’t we challenge and question our players more? I know the idea is actually a simple one, but it’s not something I’ve heard asked all that often around the table. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, being asked to explain out of character their motivation (or at all) but I think it would definitely improve the roleplaying. At least asking Why once or twice over a game, would get our players into the mindset of their characters just that little bit more. I know that sometimes I make a decision as a character and would love to explain their motivations – and I think I’m not the only one.

This is where I differ a little from the Blades in the Dark / Six and Twenty way – I’d rather explain this in character. If I see another player has made a decision, I tend to ask (if appropriate) what’s going on with them and give them the chance to explore and explain. It’s not always doable, but I’d happily make time in a game I’m playing for other people to expand, or when PM-ing to let players riff off one another about the ins and outs of their character. It’s character development yo.

I know it’s improving my roleplaying, and it’s something I’m going to be trying out in the next few games I run. Be warned Puppets – Why?

Drink up, time at the bar bitches.
– Blood, No longer Mickey Mouse’s voice coach.

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