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Old July 12th, 2018, 07:12 PM
Tiikeri Tiikeri is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Qualities of a good ref.

Love for his creative vision of the setting he is trying to portray, so that he enjoys prepping adventures, people and places for his players.

Patience, so he doesn't feel compelled to show his players things he has just made, and instead keeps them in reserve for when they can be integrated into the ongoing story naturally.

Forgiveness / peacefulness for when his players empty their bowels all over it then kick their waste about like persnickety llamas, all while laughing like the evil deer head on the wall in Evil Dead 2.

Curiosity and acceptance for what his players want to do and experience, perceiving the stories they want for their characters, and the willingness to roll with it and devote his creativity to develop their visions too.

Be dependable.

Calm and polite, but firm when necessary to keep the table from getting too loud, chaotic, distracted, or focused on a few talkers.

Fair, with rules, inclusion and treating people the same as long as they're acting in good faith.

Be able to run open ended long term stories. Players expect to be spoon fed experiences , first because they're used to it, and second because they don't know or care enough to think of their own directions. Listen for intent. If they're supposed to be just a band of ragged free traders, and they talk about going to a colony world to sell sought after imports, generate something on the fly. If they don't know how, say ok on this planet there's a street of export import brokerages, your character's would know to go talk to them. Generate some ideas from that, like drama, like transporting convict labor, or techs who are also political radicals. Use jump time to let the pcs know these characters. Then leave it alone for a few sessions, until there's a flurry of contracts to bring humanitarian relief and mercs. The players get thete, and then they can get an opportunity to play a role in the revolution for some spoils and a safe harbor in the future. If the radicals win, that is. There is a human story in the most mundane things, like getting a docking berth, or getting repairs done on their ship instead of another.

What you don't do is take your free traders and force them onto a galaxy spanning quest to save the imperium itself. Good thing you made sure they were free traders with a ship during character creation, eh? Eh?

I guess a good ref understands the vibe of the group and runs adventures that will be satisfying and meaningful. Meaning usually comes from the drama in the story, from the emotion, like they care, because they like the npcs they're meeting, or they hate the enemy mastermind, and they want to finally take him down.

Significance comes from the pcs having something to lose, like overcoming some serious danger by good play and some lucky rolls.

For players who don't care and who just want tactical scenarios, give it that to them. Again, listen for intent.
If they want a barfight before their space battle, just provide one. Use some basic narrative to introduce them to the mission, then let them do their thing and cackle like deer heads on the wall.
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