Welcome to Brandon Machart from Dallas, Texas as we talk about executing plotlines!
- Mickey and Bill
Another great larpcast, I always walk away with good advice.
I love listening to these at work. Keep up the good work.
I agree, they are great to listen to at work. They inject a little bit of my fun hobby into my, normally boring, working life.
Thanks guys, glad you’re enjoying them!
To comment on the undirected boon portion of the show…
There are a few things that result in those favors or resources going unused. The first one was hit on in the show. Players who are trained that if they find a red block they will find a square hole later that it will fit in and they better keep it available for that time. Unless they encounter the square hole they will not use it. That is an expectation issue and a trust issue with the staff. If historically the staff have only ever put out items and resources (other than standard treasure) that have specific uses then it will be hard to convince the players that they can pick anytime to use those resources. Also having enough trust in the staff to be willing to let you use the resources in creative ways plays a large part in it. There are some games where if you try to think outside the box the staff will just smack you down and force you back into the path they want you to take through the maze. On the other hand if climbing the walls of the maze and running along the ridgeline has historicaly worked to get across the problem then the players will be more inclined to try using their resources in new ways.
Remembering the resource lie Bill said is a big issue. Handing out a tangable chit if you will that represents the favor will go a long way to people remembering and could even lead to those favors being traded among the player population. “You are going onto the high seas? Here take this pendant that was given to me by the god of the seas for a quest I completed for him. If you are in dire straights call upon it and use the favor he owes me.” Way easier to deal with than “Hey guy I know the god of the sea and he owes me one… Let him know you are a friend of Kenny and he will hook you up” It also can allow another plot member other than the original one who gave it out to recognize the favor. As that leads to the next issue of rotating staff members. If the plot person who gave out the favor is not around how do you recognize the boon for what it is and use it? You end up with “well the favor doesn’t work for you right now because Mickey is working on another module” situations or “I didn’t run that so I am not sure you have that favor to call in” as the other side of the coin. Having a way to “prove” that the favor exists and hasn’t already been used would make a big difference in their use.
Next you need to have a well defined way for the favor or resource to be called into play. Maybe it is as simple as if you need my assistance just utter my name upon the wind where you feel the presense of spirits and I will come when the words reach me. meaning tell an NPC that is headed back to monster camp that you are calling in the favor with NPC X and when that guy gets to monster camp he will let the right person know. Even better if it is write your request on a paper and attach it to this trinket then let it float free on the air (with an NPC) and then the favor has been quantified so that the named NPC is ready to deal with it and has some foreknowledge on what they are going to be asked to do. There needs to be a clear explination on how to use it and to some extent the expectation of how long it will may take for the results to occur. If it is a boon from Mickey’s npc I maybe inclined to use it on another mod that Mickey is running whereas if it is Bill’s mod and Mikey is at home or out playing another NPC I just saw in town I might not be willing to use it because I expect that it won’t come in time to make a difference in the encounter. The worst version of that is that I call in the boon and by the time the NPC can show up to help the encounter is over and the boon is still burned up. That will really result in people not using them freely.
So summary: 1. When giving the resource make it clear that they can use it whenever they might want…especially when you first introduce these boons 2. Have a tangible item that represents the boon 3. Have a clear process for using the boon