Content of the article: "Never underestimate the power of “open questions”."
Have a group new to DND? Are they just a bit "quiet"?
You can solve this with open questions.
Open questions are those where there are multiple answers which you cannot answer with yes or no. There is an easy way to make sure you are always asking them when it counts.
how do you stop the evil badger king?
why do you hide up a tree?
what do you do to steal the goat?
tell me about the bacon destroyer.
These questions cannot be answered yes or no, they require thought. Once you have mastered these you can make them a little more water tight by directing them to specific places:
how does Vladimir the cuddler stop the evil badger king? What is his plan?
why does Bjorgen the stinky hide up a tree? What is going through his head?
What does Gnorman Gnomington do to steal the goat? What is he thinking?
Tell me about Poppet's experience with the bacon destroyer. How is she feeling now?
These are the same questions, but directed at specific players. These can be useful in bringing quiet members out of their shells as it forces them to add to the story. It also forces the players whom have no problem speaking up to sit back and let someone else do the work.
These techniques are used in sales and are really easy to get the hang of using. Just make a conscious effort to start your sentence with what, how and tell me and you'll get much better results when interacting with players.
There is one more thing. Don't write off closed questions either, but use them to paint a picture of a player character and embellish the open ones; usually in conjunction with an open question.
(Closed questions begin with is, has, have, does, did)
why does Gary do this; is he angry?
how does Jess climb the tree; has she used any tools?
what is going through Bevan's head; does he know this character?
tell me about Dweebo's past, did she have a good childhood?
Open questions become closed when you add something onto the end and, in asking a few closed questions before an open one you can give some ideas to someone before giving them the reigns to conduct an interesting narrative through the open question.
Most people default to closed (yes or no) questions, but by utilising open questions you can get a much more detailed reply. Give it a go, write How, what, why and tell me on a piece of paper and force yourself to say one of these words before you ask a question.
- A roleplay encounter that is all about the giving and taking of information
- Advancing the Villains’ Plans Without Overwhelming the Players
- Player has a goat companion that we always joke is a feylord. The goat is special, but how?
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