Ways to Keep up the Positive Vibe!



  • Alright, so I've noticed the DM activity dropping (DM's obviously have real lives and get busy so this isn't really their fault) and since it's already been established it could be a while until any new DM's are set up, I wanted to open up discussion on how WE THE PLAYERS can continue to create fun and motivation even without a constant DM presence. I know most of the fun times with Alistair have been player-centric events with no DM available, however, the RP was amazing. I'm going to open the discussion with some ideas (just ideas not what I'm saying we should do) on how to involve more people and create fun even if we should hit a DM drought for awhile. I personally have been experiencing a massive DM-less time period during my normal play hours, however, that hasn't stopped great stories due to great interactions. Here are some of my thoughts on things WE PLAYERS can do to keep things moving and motivating: (TLDR in bold)

    @Latoksinned:

    1. Create Long Term, lasting rivalries: Killing off all the criminals might make sense to your character, but try to come up with a reason why you don't have to kill them. The longer the Rivalry, the more story and the more epic that can happen without a DM. Sure…. you SHOULD have a DM for PvP, however, if you go in with the mindset that you aren't killing anyone or jacking all their DM loot, you can still have a little scuffle from time to time to keep the blood flowing. Doesn't even always have to be an enemy rivalry, friendly rivalries (Such as two barbarians competing for manly virtue, two faiths competing for more miracles/followers, two bards competing to put on the best performance) There is ALWAYS a reason to not kill someone. Maybe you are evil and want to send the hero back in shame, maybe you are the hero giving a heroic speech about how the villain should have been good, and the villain escapes. Maybe you are the shady mercenary who makes a deal to accept funds from the criminal, in exchange for putting on a show of trying to capture him and him escaping. Be creative!

    2. Create DM-less events that reward participation: Perhaps you find a +2 Armor of awesome, that's great! I'm sure it will sell, however, you could make money AAAAAND support your story AAAAAND create more fun and inclusion if you did something like… took a 100 gold entry fee to enter a tournament or contest of some kind and the winner gets the loot. Now, you've made the gold, you've created fun, and you've advanced your story some, instead of just selling it like a merchant. Also, this makes it much more likely for you to move your product. 100-200 gold is much easier to part with than 1500-2000 gold when you are dropping money left and right on supplies.

    3. Be vocal and public about your goals: This may be contrary to what is instinctive for completing your goals, however, it is far more powerful. By screaming your support for a dark lord and master, you not only garner support, you also create opposition. By having opposing views competing, you don't always need a DM for stories to unfold. Now, you are not only trying to gather evil reagents for your vile ritual, you are now trying to keep the goodies from assembling their counter ritual, and vise versa. This means it takes longer, with more dramatic effect, before you are ready for a DM, meaning shorter wait times for DM availability and (likely) increased result/reward since you now involved twice as many people than you would have if your rituals were secret.

    4. Tailor your quests to your stories (instead of reward): If you are aiming to become a famous undead hunter, does it make more sense for you to do quest trains about lumber, barbarians, kobalds, etc? No, it makes more sense you would be trying to devote your every waking minute to the obliteration of these vile dead walkers! This goes for most stories. Aside from a generic sell-sword, people are going to want to spend their time pushing their goals, as opposed to fighting someone else's battles for them. This can be done easily by taking a little creative license.

    • Agent - "I have received reports of crime in the area of (Quest). I am under orders to gather adventurers and pay them to investigate. ///(Quest level)

    • Sailor - "Lets board the ship and head out onto the Wyvernwater! I've hear tales of a downed ship we can scavenge and a pirate's treasure we can plunder! ARRRR!

    • Barbarian - "Gold Eagle Tribe tougher than Elk Tribe! We prove strength in tribal combat, come prove self man and bring glory and reward to yourself"

    • Orc Hunter - 1. "Our farmlands are under attack by the vile scourge of the orcs. To arms! We must defend the farmlands" 2. "We've fought them off the farmlands and now it's time to ensure they do not come back, we march on their camp to push them farther away from the city" 3. "In retaliation of our raid, the orcs have taken over a noble's property. We must take it back and push them back into the hullack from whence they came" 4. "We've located the last stronghold this tribe of orcs has in the area, it is time for an all out assault to ensure a longer peace"

      As you can see in the last example, that was a pretty good quest train, which involved an entire epic storyline, all packed into one day of play. Did it follow the exact scripted story? Mostly… with a little deviation, however, no one is going to fault you for taking a couple minor liberties to create some more fun.

    5. Level Slower/De-Level: This is a tough barrier to overcome, however, when trying to create more involvement, sometimes you have to sacrifice "TEH WIN." Some of the above, requires you to be in the level range of quests or be on a more even playing field as people who may be weaker than you. Level 9, 10, 11 are really awesome to achieve, however, they greatly reduce what you can do with others. It may eliminate many of the scripted quests relating to your story, it limits who you can quest with and it restricts the things you can do with lower levels and still see even reward. If you are following the above, what reason is there to be a high level forever? You don't want to form a gank squad anymore, you don't need to kill anyone all the time and the DM's tailor their events to the levels in the party anyway. We /COULD/ (not saying we should) create a psudo level cap/limit (as players not DM's) if times get hard where we de-level from time to time or level slower, in order to create a more even playing field. The closer everyone is to levels, the more likely you are to get people involved since there will be more chances of actually winning. (Notices I said chances, people should care about more than the win, but no one likes losing all the time).

    6. Join Player Factions!: This is a big one for me, since I've seen player factions do AMAZING things. Player factions allow you to rely on coming together to achieve joint goals without having to rely on a DM NPC to give you orders. Hell, even if you are in a DM faction, go out and do things without a DM and without orders and it will have a similar effect. People get discouraged when they can't achieve their personal goals, because no one will come visit X dungeon with them. Join a club and find a way to make your goal reward or help EVERYONE and you'll see dramatic effect. Why does mercenary X want to help you revive demon emperor Norg or why does Sally want to help you find the artifact of Trom? Making your goals about someone else works wonders.

    7. Be Dramatic!: I mean this as a character and not as a player. Sure, rebuilding a town is a cool goal, but hiring merchants and chopping down wood is kinda boring and requires DM support. Why not do something dramatic and big to draw in the crowd to do it for you? Quest for epic loot and instead of selling it or using it, offer it up as prizes for tournaments, drawing attention and people to your location. Go on long journeys to dangerous locations to find a relic to draw in pilgrims from all over the world. Destroy all the evil in the area to increase trade. Mix in scripted quests and explorations to make it dramatic! This goes for everything. Selunites hold your sermons on top of a mountain for a more perfect view of the moon, chauntaens, Silvanians, etc, make yourselves grove keepers. Make travels together to the most dangerous planting locations and tend the gardens, giving sermons and teachings along the way. None of these require DM's and can create awesome character interaction.

    @Fearmoho12:

    8. Be inclusive: Don't stifle a player's creativity just because your PC doesn't agree with them. Sure, it's easier to refuse to join them as they search for the Magic McGuffin of Evil but it's far more rewarding for both parties if you put in the small amount of effort it takes to make an excuse to go along with it and let them have their moment leading the adventure (e.g. "Man, this guy's up to no good. I better keep an eye on him so that I can stop his dastardly schemes in future.").

    @Chips:

    9. Listen to this song when starting your quest trains.

    @FZ:

    10. Go to people's things. Whether someone is giving a sermon, or looking for a magical boondoggle in the mountains, or collecting baskets of grenades for orphan gnomes, showing up and tagging along can mean a LOT to them, even if it's not in line with your character's main priorities. It doesn't always have to be about you or your character. Ask them about their project, take an interest, and it will ALWAYS reward you in the future, if not always in phat loot and XP, then maybe in the fact that they are likely to show up for your character when it's time that you are doing a thing.

    With the character interactions I've gotten to have with Alistair, with very little DM attention, I can attest that most of these work quite well. I have an optimistic feeling, with the player base being as creative as it is, we can make this work and keep things fun and exciting, even if the DM's have to go on minimum manning. The only things I would ask of the DM team in relation to all this are: Keep Resets Frequent, Give support to Player factions (IE forums, encouragement), and create more options for the hunting quest turn in (Only because this is the most awesome way I've seen to show faction support and progress with very very minimal DM support, month to month). It's been a pleasure playing with all the great concepts I've seen so far and I hope I get more time to play more often with you all soon!



  • I'd like to add a point.

    8. Be inclusive: Don't stifle a player's creativity just because your PC doesn't agree with them. Sure, it's easier to refuse to join them as they search for the Magic McGuffin of Evil but it's far more rewarding for both parties if you put in the small amount of effort it takes to make an excuse to go along with it and let them have their moment leading the adventure (e.g. "Man, this guy's up to no good. I better keep an eye on him so that I can stop his dastardly schemes in future.").



  • @Fearmoho12:

    I'd like to add a point.

    8. Be inclusive: Don't stifle a player's creativity just because your PC doesn't agree with them. Sure, it's easier to refuse to join them as they search for the Magic McGuffin of Evil but it's far more rewarding for both parties if you put in the small amount of effort it takes to make an excuse to go along with it and let them have their moment leading the adventure (e.g. "Man, this guy's up to no good. I better keep an eye on him so that I can stop his dastardly schemes in future.").

    I like this! It helps both your story and their story AND it creates a potential rivalry to be drawn out. Alistair always has the excuse of "They are journeying to a dark location, I should accompany them as my god instructs and ensure them on the path to the new dawn." Doesn't matter if it's something small like mining or something big like an underdark trip. A hunter could be like….. "There could be bears for me to hunt in the woods!" or an Agent could see it as an opportunity to have a dossier on all those who traveled on the trip. I've never really heard "Inclusive" being used in this direction. Usually it's aimed at getting people to invite lots of people to do things, however, it is just important that you accept invitations to include yourself in other people's stories as well!



  • I approve of posts like these.


  • Storyteller [DM]

    I love this thread



  • I was here first.



  • Secrets out now that this is an alt account for Dedagin waves
    This is an awesome post… In particular the long term rivalries line.

    Will was at Odds with Red from pretty much day one, and it never came to blows....



  • 9. Listen to this song when starting your quest trains.



  • 10. Go to people's things. Whether someone is giving a sermon, or looking for a magical boondoggle in the mountains, or collecting baskets of grenades for orphan gnomes, showing up and tagging along can mean a LOT to them, even if it's not in line with your character's main priorities. It doesn't always have to be about you or your character. Ask them about their project, take an interest, and it will ALWAYS reward you in the future, if not always in phat loot and XP, then maybe in the fact that they are likely to show up for your character when it's time that you are doing a thing.



  • @FZ:

    10. Go to people's things. Whether someone is giving a sermon, or looking for a magical boondoggle in the mountains, or collecting baskets of grenades for orphan gnomes, showing up and tagging along can mean a LOT to them, even if it's not in line with your character's main priorities. It doesn't always have to be about you or your character. Ask them about their project, take an interest, and it will ALWAYS reward you in the future, if not always in phat loot and XP, then maybe in the fact that they are likely to show up for your character when it's time that you are doing a thing.

    1000% agreed with this. If you want people to acknowledge and show interest in your own plot, then show the same courtesy to others. It works! Trust me. I try to show up to people's plot things and they always return the favor at some point 🙂



  • I've found that you always have to compromise when it comes to CoA. But that's not a bad thing. The more you compromise for OTHER people instead of yourself, the more fun you'll find yourself having. I'm always most impressed by the PCs who are actively trying to include people. That doesn't mean just making sendings. It stretches further to stopping a newbie PC on the street and handing him a plot hook or some other fun thing. That's what makes characters memorable, and it's that kind of compromise that makes the game way more fun. If you're playing a PC where you think, "It doesn't make sense for this guy to be inclusive," then that's where I feel like it's fine to make an OOC exception. There can be a million reasons and excuses for why your PC decides to include someone regardless of what kind of character they are. That's all up to you.

    I guess where I'm going with this is, play gnomes



  • I have nothing to add to this. Great thread.


  • Storyteller [DM]

    Great point, Unfie. Taking things like inclusivity into your character designing is a great idea.


  • Admin [DM]

    Lovely thread, nice to see all the suggestions and ideas. 🙂



  • I always felt that even if it's not ic for your character to help someone achieve theirs, make it ic for you to work against them on it, despite what many people think, when someone opposes you on your thing, it bring ten times more attention to it and everyone wins.



  • @CitizenBane:

    I always felt that even if it's not ic for your character to help someone achieve theirs, make it ic for you to work against them on it, despite what many people think, when someone opposes you on your thing, it bring ten times more attention to it and everyone wins.

    This is so damn true , people helping is one thing, but opposition just raises the bar and involves folks who just might not give a crap other wise 🙂



  • Definately. When I read the post about "Turning up to other peoples things" Is it bad my immediate thought was "Turn up with a firebomb, a note detailing my plans to destroy them all, and a potion of expeditious -retreat-?"



  • Fire bombs are always legit.

    Although faking a firebomb throw with alchemist fire gets you LOLPOINTS if people run in fear.


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