Content of the article: "Emotional Cues in DM Exposition"
Hi, long time listener, first time caller. So I don’t know how many of you watch Dimension20 and are currently watching the new side quest Pirates of Leviathan, but it’s brought up a question in me. In this episode, Brennan Lee Mulligan is the DM describing a kind of spa scenario to player Matt Mercer. Both very obviously veteran players and performers. And I say performers because I know this is D&D media and real life home games are not always like this, if at all. And in one of the descriptions Brennan kind of implies how Matt’s character feels on an emotional level. Now, this is a short campaign, both of these men are obviously cool with what’s going on, and I get that Brennan is pitching directly to Matt in order to get what they want out of this scene. Like everyone knows this is the moment of character development. It’s just made me wonder about if this is okay or not at home tables. I’m wondering what the expectation of the DM really is in these roleplay scenarios.
Now, I do get that the answer is generally whatever is comfortable for your table. But I’m currently a first-time DM with little player experience. I took on the role of DMing for my friends when the pandemic started and while there’s been a learning curve, we are all fans of D&D media and we’ve definitely caught our sea legs.
The question at hand and at the core of this is, where is the expected line between DM and player when it comes to making decisions for PCs, however subtle. Especially with emotions and even if it’s just in verbiage. Do you give these cues of emotion in roleplay moments, and conversely do the players want the DM to walk them through this? Or is it a firm line of, the expectation is you control everything in the world except (and this is a hard except) the PC because those decisions and reactions are for the player and the player alone to make?
I just really want some insight, so I don’t one day barrel into DMing a new group and make some huge faux pas.
- “It’s what my character would do.” is actually good
- Struggling with a group of players with very diverse wants and seeking advice.
- What the actual first rule of DMing is, that is also the first rule for any relationship, or group activity, ever: COMMUNICATE
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