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How much of your dnd campaign should you make obvious for your players?

how much of your dnd campaign should you make obvious for your players
Trying to figure out how much of your dnd campaign you should make obvious?
This article is all about How much of your dnd campaign should you make obvious for your players?

This is a common question for authors as well as dungeon masters; do you have everything known and then watch it unfold? Do you leave bread crumbs? Do you leave a giant sign towards the breadcrumbs?

How much do you actually share ahead of time?

Most players hate having the plot spoon-fed.

With that being said, should there be hints, foreshadowing, misunderstandings, etc? Absolutely yes. Even a great twist should make sense in hindsight.

Here are what some players had to say to help narrow down the answer that might be right for you and your players:

– “I love when I think I have it figured out, and then find out I’m totally wrong (or right!) because of well-placed clues, red herrings, foreshadowing, etc”

– “I like the Brandon Sanderson method, the “all the pieces were there if I had only been a bit more clever to put it all together”. Too long of figuring it out without the character figuring it out makes the character seem dumb. Unless it’s dramatic irony or we’re getting more info than the character has through different povs, my preference is to get the clues with the character and make it a struggle to figure out (recontextualized with the twist at the end is the best, but in hindsight it all makes sense.)”

– “I like some red herrings. I like to figure out some things and feel the satisfaction when I’m right. I like to get complacent that I know exactly what’s going to happen next only to be shocked at a twist. Mix it up! More fun that way.”

– “I like hints and plot twists and little actions that don’t make sense until later on.”

– “110% figure it out along the way, if I see it all I get bored quickly”

– “A bit of both, I guess? I love to play along and figure things out. If there’s none of that, I’m bored and just feel like I’m along for the ride as opposed to being actively immersed in the story. But I’m not opposed to the occasional blindside/shock/failure moment here and there, either. It’s realistic that the hero will fail some.”

– “If you speak in codes make them obvious. Players are expecting something they can understand with minimal effort and some players need it explained. If they don’t get an explanation fast enough they will get bored or just refuse to finish and drop out instead”

There are a variety of player styles and types and it’s possible to have multiple of them in your group, the best is to leave little clues around but not too obvious, and if they miss the clues they are almost guaranteed to remember them later on, or you can have your non-player characters bring up the clues they players missed previously.

A quote from a dungeon master that is also noteworthy:

– “I put a chair in the middle of a room to set the scene for interrogation in my homebrew dnd campaign, my players spent a full hour checking the room and found this chair extremely suspicious. They refused to move on until they could figure it out.. but it was nothing, literally just a chair.”

Keep in mind, players can be SUPER dense sometimes, and occasionally you just need to tell them up-front.

Thats usually only for what they are doing right at this moment though, long term stuff can be much more subtle.

Please comment below on what you are doing for your own dnd campaign and maybe a sweet story about how your players reacted!

This concludes how much of your dnd campaign should you make obvious for your players.
Check out other tips For Players or For DMs to run your games with fun to the max.

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