On the Shoulders of Dwarves
About This Show
On the Shoulders of Dwarves is a weekly podcast focusing on practical advice for role-players, with a lighthearted atmosphere and no GM screen. Every 30-40 minutes episode focuses on a specific subject, with the aim to provide useful suggestions for players and GMs who are looking to solve a problem they came up against, or just upgrade their game.
Email us with your questions and remarks, to email@example.com.
Most Recent Episode
Stimulating Passive Players (episode 22)
5 days ago
A passive player is one who sits around the table and does very little. Is this a problem? And if so how can we solve it? Passivity comes in several forms: individual, collective, temporary, ongoing. Is this even a problem? (1:00) Having a player that does nothing most of the time is not an inherently negative experience. It is only a problem if it bothers someone - the player themselves, th GM, or the rest of the players. Temporary passivity - when a player doesn’t act much during a specific session (maybe they're tired?) and prefer to “sit this one out”. Motivators (4:45) Character development. Something you run from, something you run toward; inner struggle, personal plotlines (ep 21) Possible courses of action (7:20) These are all things that the player or GM can do, or that the player can do with the active encouragement of the GM: BOTH - Have a one-on-one meeting between the player and the GM. Ask questions, “what does your character want to achieve?” create a background that pushes the character into action. This will hopefully lead to character development. Unknown Armies, Powered by the Apocalypse Player - make strong emotional choices. Player - set specific goals for your character. Not “get rich” but “obtain the silver crimson diamond of Everwind”. Enrich the setting, ground your character in the world. Making a Good Aspect, from the Fate SRD. Player - Don’t be afraid to change your goals if the situation calls for it. Having a clear goal is more important than sticking to the same one (as always, do this in moderation, changing your goal every session is not a good motivator). Either - Weekly questions by the GM - to encourage decisions. Or give this responsibility to the passive player. GMs - Ask why, even on passive decisions. If the fighter want to go north, and the wizard who is played by the passive player doesn’t object enquire - “why do you support that?”. Running an inclusive game (ep 16). Discovering player motivations (22:40) The whole party is passive (26:25) A symptom of a problem that's at the root of the game, not personal preferences of a single player. They’re waiting for something to happen. Two types of protagonists: those who initiate action and those that things happen to them (active and reactive). When creating the campaign, all participants need to agree on the kind of story. This can change during a game. Unknown armies tend to be reactive on the street level, active in the global level. Maybe they’re not interested in what’s going on. Tastes can change. Ask the players, on occasion, what’s interesting to them. Orcs kick the door (31:10) In an adventure based on player initiative, it’s a good tool to remind the players they should act. Need to be clear and straightforward, driving a specific action. It’s time to use the neon sign. Pacing (ep 10) Time limits (34:05) If too strict, feels like choking. In our Tomb of Annihilation campaign we feel like every day matters, so we’re afraid to take long journeys; it would be better to have a deadline, allowing us to decide how to use the time up to it. Summary (37:48) We have a Facebook group! Join, and let's talk RPG. Taking the load off (39:55) Uri: Our Hebrew recording from Bigor 2018. Anime lectures: “My first anime” and “Why can’t we say goodbye to NGE”. Eran: Going to run a new Crystal Heart one-shot, with Bill Roper and my 50 Fathoms party. Also planning a signing in Leisure Games, running the same game Paizo playtest about Dwarves