December 30, 2019

Tackling Dilemmas in Tabletop RPGs

We’re talking about encountering dilemmas on today’s #newbieTuesday post. Group problem solving is a core element of the tabletop role playing game experience. Social situations, puzzles, and even combat oftentimes require a degree of creative problem solving among the group of players. Chaining these dilemmas – and their outcomes – together is most oftentimes the majority of the TTRPG process for GMs and players.

New players, especially those who may not feel “naturally creative” and/or are perhaps intimidated by the prospect of consequences, often benefit from approaching these encounters with a lack of expectation. That way, you’re not putting any pressure on yourself to not just be yourself in those situations. Being yourself and just thinking about the dilemma is your ideal starting point.

Each challenge put in front of you is just another opportunity for players to have fun in trying to solve the dilemma they’re facing. Experienced players can help set the table and new players just need to try and approach the situation at hand with a lack of bias of their perception on what “should” be happening. Just throw your two cents out there to get the ball rolling and go with the flow. No pressure to be anything you’re not immediately comfortable with – just people playing stories together.

You don’t have to be this maestro or creative force or master chess player in order to work with your fellow players to play stories. You just have to be you…be kind to yourself and understand that, just like anything else, you’ll get better and better and more and more comfortable with the experience the more you play!