We can offer you all the tools in the world, but are they worth it if the game isn’t engaging? How do you make sure that your game has a personal touch and speaks to all of your players?
Don’t Plan Ahead
Focus instead on the here and now. What are the important tasks that need to be accomplished in a given session in order to drive the story forward? Now that you have that what would be the most fun way to get there? Come up with a couple of loose ideas and leave it there. Your players will chose what interests them and you’ll come up with the details from there.
Focus on the Players
If you allow them your players will always tell a more interesting story then you ever will. Paul related to me that one of his players, during play testing for our game, came up with far more interesting ideas for how things we done then we ever did. So we changed the game. By focusing on the players and allowing them to participate in the story-living we created a better campaign.
Tell Interesting Stories
While a bit of a duh it is important to make sure that all of your players are engaged. If you are focused on them and letting them the story as well this should be simple. If they need prodding check their character background, likely they’ll have a plethora of stories that can be pulled and extrapolated on. Another approach is having your players write some in-character fiction. Pull some of the characters they came up with and flesh them out as NPCs. This will keep everything nicely tied into the story as well as keeping it personal to the player.
What have you done to keep your campaigns more personal and relevant?