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The Story of the Campaign

    As a GM, you have many responsibilities, from refereeing to adjudicating rules to describing the world as the campaign, and the players move along. While they are all important, describing the world and the player's interactions is what drives the campaign and story in each session.

    While at first, it seems evident that pulling in player’s characters through interaction and description is what is meant by “roleplaying” it may fall by the wayside as you focus on the adjudicating of rules. What then, exactly, does roleplaying entail? Of most importance is the description of the immediate situation in which the players are interacting. Telling the players what the situation their characters are in, with concrete terms, is how you get a session started, get things back on track from breaks, etc.

    Like all good stories, your use of details and senses can draw characters in. It’s not “the dragon attacks,” it’s “the dragon rears its head back, its massive wings unfurling to cast a dark shadow on you, as it unleashes a hellish storm of fire at you." It is also the lack of information to create sense of tension, “A soft scraping, like bone on stone, echoes around you.”

    The situations occurring around the players is rarely smooth or uneventful. They exist in a world where magic and burgeoning technology exist, where the undead rise from their graves and horrific monsters exist just outside their torchlight. They need to have something to react to, and often. When describing a scene or situation always end with an open-ended question: “What do you do?”; “How are you acting?”; “Where are you going?”; “Who is doing what?” Invoke situations that demand the players act and respond.

    Everything that occurs in the world around the players occurs because of you as the GM and Storyteller. Your NPC's actions and scenario descriptions should aim to do the following: Portray a world of adventure, fill the character’s lives with that adventure, and play out what happens.

    Legends of Kralis is about facing down the hordes of monsters, surviving the darkness and braving the chaos that whirls around the players. It’s meant for player characters who have decided to step outside the safety of cities and towns in hopes of earning fame and glorious reward.

    One of your jobs as the GM is to bring to life a world where the players can find adventure. To portray a world of the fantastic and horrific. To show the players the wonders of the world that they live in and push them to live in it, to interact with it and to react to all that is occurring around them.

    This is done by working with the players and their characters to create a world that engages them, one that is dynamic and one that catches them in some threatening danger and fosters a game of action and tension.

    The story never presumes to know player's actions and Legends of Kralis is a tool meant to portray a grand setting that is in perpetual motion. With situations filled with conflict where the players will clash with the world and its inhabitants, it is up to you to portray the repercussions of that action in the world around them.

    You need to bring the players fully into the sense of the story. By addressing the characters instead of the players you create a world that flows and keeps the players engaged in the fantasy-fiction you are developing. This helps you as the GM stay focused on the story first instead of the gameplay mechanics. It also allows you to focus on the details of the story and what moves the characters and their interaction with the situation and the world at large.

    While the world and the game have stats to determine the mechanical resolution of affects and effects, it is your job to bring these stats to life. The world that the characters move in is filled with fantastic creatures with own motives, desires and traits. It is your job to give the characters descriptive details of each creature, bringing it to life through smells, sights and sounds.

    You are every other person in the world from the lowliest peasant to the greatest of kings and gods. You are the non-player character personified and anyone that interacts with the characters has their backstory, you may not have it fully developed for every interaction, but they all have a name. The rest will fall into place as the players will indicate to you who they feel is important to them.

    Part of being a great GM is playing the parts of the world in order to find out what happens to the characters after you have setup the scenario. Whenever you have made an action as an NPC in the world; or created a situation that requires action by the characters - it is always best to ask “What do you do?”

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