Content of the article: "How much of a player’s arc should you clear with them before implementing it into your game?"
I’m a brand new DM and my players are all fantastic, they all gave me very interesting open-ended backstories that I’m so excited to flesh out.
But while talking to another friend of mine who DMs about how much I love building off of people’s backstories he told me “just make sure to clear it by them first”.
This has made me feel nervous about creating a story for them because I don’t want to do anything that makes the player’s feel like their character’s aren’t what they had in mind, but I also feel like filling in the players on everything I want to plan would ruin any element of surprise. So I guess I just want to know what a good balance is.
For example; One of my characters is a green tiefling Druid. She was orphaned as a child so i want to do something cool with her parents. She’s very whimsical and free-spirited, so I considered having her father come from the feywild, partly because I think it fits her character and partly because I think having a plot hook to bring my players to the feywild would be kinda sick. I’ve also considered making her dad kind of an asshole, because from my understanding fey are generally manipulative jerks and I do think having a complicated family relationship could add something cool and dramatic to my game.
I obviously don’t want any conflict, I just want to tell what I think would create an interesting story, but if you think these sort of situations would make a player lose interest in their character then it’s definitely not worth it. But I also don’t think these sort of crazy turns arent going to be fun if players don’t get to be surprised by them, but maybe that’s just a narrow viewpoint?
EDIT: Hey guys thanks for all the advice! As much as I think I have a cool story, I still want my players to feel proud of their characters at the end of the day. So I’ll definitely poke at her brain some more and make sure what I have doesn’t go against her 🙂
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