Friday, February 12, 2016

Dungeon Master Techniques: The Flashback Adventure

Hello, Dungeon Masters, and welcome to Pact of the Tome! Today, I'd like to discuss a technique that helps your players get more invested in the game. This technique, the flashback adventure, is especially appropriate for longer campaigns where you need to convey a lot of information to your players all at once.

To start off, imagine this situation:

It's game night. You've spent hours concocting the perfect backstory to tonight's adventure, and your players have just fought through an orc warband to rescue the sage who will tell them all about it. As the sage, you begin the tale of the secret history of the fall of the Golden Kingdom five hundred years ago.

Halfway through, you look around. One of your players covers his mouth in a deep yawn. Another is playing Temple Run on her phone. The rest are stacking dice towers, doodling on their character sheets, and generally acting like they're bored out of their minds. Where did you go wrong?

If you've been a Dungeon Master for a while, you've probably been in a situation like this one before. It's a lot of fun to create your own world and story, but getting your players to care about it can be a huge challenge.

Instead, picture this: