Content of the article: "Immerse Your Players By Creating Information Asymmetry"
Something new that I have tried for my most recent campaign still in progress that I highly recommend involves a very simple but fun way of simultaneously fleshing out the game world, making your players feel special, and creating player RP dynamics that make the world feel more alive; sending the players unique and separate knowledge about the world related to their character's background and experiences.
To start; before the first session, after you have obtained some information regarding your PC's, write up a short document for each player, maybe a page or two, with various bullet points including a short paragraph about various in-world information their character would be privy to. This information can be about well known NPC's, knowledge about towns/regions, historical events, snippets of lore, or whatever else. Each document should be unique, although you can share some of these bullets with different PC's who would both know these things.
Next, throughout the campaign as things proceed, you can drop new information regarding things, perhaps things you didn't touch on before as they become relevant. Perhaps when a PC encounters something that you want them to know more about but don't necessarily want to tell them at the table, or as you flesh out the world and its history. I recommend doing this for all players at the same time to ensure a consistent distribution of information.
Finally, listen to your players as they digest this information, and be open to feedback from each about molding their character and the information they receive as the plot advances. I think of this like when you're watching a film or reading a novel, and you only learn about a character's backstory in greater detail after significant events have happened that introduce relevant information. In this same way, you don't need to drop all of the knowledge on your players from the outset; let them learn things about their own character and the world as they go along.
Doing this, I can only sing great praises as to how positively my players have responded. Players who were otherwise sideline players were able to use this information to provide unique input. Enthusiastic players have taken this information and come to me outside of the game wanting to learn more, or even help me craft the game world and their character inside it. It has made for numerous special moments in-session where the PC's act on information others don't know and create really memorable bonds with eachother as well. This works not only in many practical senses to allow you to control the flow of information for players, but it also mimics the way this information exists in real-life. People forget and recall specific information, and no two people even if they share knowledge of certain things, has the exact same information or experience as another. And finally it just makes your PC's feel special; it becomes that cool thing only they know about or get to provide to the group that makes everyone else pay attention to them.
Anyways, a simple thing you can do to flesh out your game world and engage your players one-on-one, I highly recommend. Any thoughts or feedback on this are welcome.
- Is it ok to make a battle that my players have to lose?
- Consider having a side campaign
- A roleplay encounter that is all about the giving and taking of information
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