Recently, Lance, a girlfriend of mine asked me a GMing advice question about something that come up in his Silvervine game. A high fantasy setup with lots of magic and also tech, airships space a common way to take trip in the world, yet are very expensive come own. That supposed his players wanted one, but it would be a while prior to their coffers to be full. After an already hectic adventure to run from the guards of a city-state in an activity scene the would have actually done Tony Jaa proud, the players want to acquire an airship by thefts it.

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 While my common go-to advice is to just say yes and also go down that path, gleefully led through the players right into the video game they want to play, occasionally you need to step earlier as a game Master and keep the game’s framework in-tact.  

My friend’s issue with this was that it put them ~ above the route to the exact wrong type of video game he wanted. If airships to be common, then stealing one collection them outside the administer authorities and right right into the limit of being airship pirates. Cool, it’s in line through the genre, but not what he wanted to run. Still, the players to be super-keen to gain an airship and also to pull turn off a heist game. My friend asked me what ns would execute in the situation.

The difficulty With saying Yes

While my regular go-to advice is to just say yes and go under that path, gleefully led by the players into the game they desire to play, periodically you have to step earlier as a video game Master and keep the game’s framework in-tact. Having accessibility to the airship wasn’t the problem, yet having them on the wrong side of the law and no longer able to work-related within the limits of the civilized countries of the world was. In addition, having the players rotate to soaking up order to settle most problems just reinforces the murder-hobo trope, and that wasn’t fairly the feel the was wanted.

My approach – speak Yes, to What They yes, really Want

From the minimal facts I gained from the facebook post exchange, it sound to me prefer the players wanted to traction of the heist game in a large way, however that the airship to be the benefit and not really the score of the heist. The just allowed a different, less hemmed in kind of gameplay for them. So, offer them their heist v the airship as a reward, yet the heist isn’t come steal the airship. Dipping into and also using some ideas I’ve written around re:Island design Theory (and here /end shameless plug), ns told Lance what I would certainly do.

Use the very same elements, yet instead of following the path you had actually intended, go through the path the football player are much more interested in. Lance wanted the players to work and get the airship with some quests, however they wanted a heist game for a little of a change of pace. So, follow the course they are setting in, yet let them end up ~ above the exact same “island” through their wanted non-railroady path (the heist).

In video game terms, I said having the airship they had actually their eye on obtain impounded by the local authorities and also the PCs obtain approached to aid them get proof from the neighborhood mafia boss’s really secure safe. The local authorities necessary “outside the law” kind of help, and were ready to administer the airship as a reward, and a chunk that the funds gained from the theft the evidence and also money taken native the secure vault.

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That provided every goal the players had (Do a heist game, and Get an airship) and also kept the game in the boundaries the video game Master wanted (Keep the pcs able to occupational with polite countries) without flat out saying no or adhering come railroading.

Your Solution?

That was my advice and also I haven’t heard yet exactly how it went off. What would you perform in this case or a comparable one? If the computers were setting up to move far outside the boundaries of her game, just how would you meet what they want without ruining your game concept? exactly how much leeway do you provide to players in setup the plot, and also does it differ if you room playing more traditional campaign games or one-shot sort of games?