Feelings > Actions

When I’m playing a role-playing game, I’m much more interested in hearing what someone’s character feels about a situation than what they do.

If we understand the character’s feelings, even taking no action is informative. And if we don’t know their feelings, any action remains a mystery. Why did they do that? We don’t know.

And if you ask a player what their character feels about something and they can’t answer, all the more reason to slow down, dive in, and let them figure that out. Take that time! Understanding your character’s feelings makes deciding what they would do a whole lot easier.

There’s a very old school tendency to tunnel vision on problem solving: there’s a situation, so our characters have to fix it. That’s our job! In the worst case, the characters just become tools doing what the situation demands, without ever showing us what they personally want or think about things. They become interchangeable troubleshooters rather than people with their own desires or biases.

I want to hear if your character is passionate about finding a cure for the Duke or thinks it’s a fools errand or is just doing it for the money. Maybe you wind up doing the exact same thing, but I want to know how you felt about it. That’s what makes it a story.

    Ben Robbins | July 9th, 2021 | , | show 3 comments