by Mike Shea on 5 March 2012
Recently DM to the superstars, Chris Perkins, wrote an excellent article, the Storytelling King, on his tips for building character-focused games using the ideas of Stephen King from his book On Writing.
This is a topic discussed often at Sly Flourish and I wanted to take the time to look back on some previous articles that discuss building your D&D game from the actions of characters instead of plots and story lines. Let's take a look:
Build Worlds Not Stories: Probably the prime Sly Flourish article on developing stories based on the actions of characters. Includes my favorite night-time saying "what is my villain doing right now?" For me, it's like counting sheep.
Three Acting Tips for D&D: Three tips on building stories from the point of view of the characters.
Fiasco Style Relationships: Here's a list of random relationships your can roll for. The results can end up building the story for you rather than you developing one yourself.
The 5x5 Method for Antagonists: A way to use Dave Chalker's 5x5 method to help you figure out what the bad guys are doing. Much better than simply plotting out a story.
Three D&D Tips from Breaking Bad: A look at how you can let your story develop based on the actions of characters like those in one of the best shows on television.
Quests for Villains: A look at how to develop quests for your villains so they're not simply sitting on a throne waiting for the PCs to show up and kill them.
Four Tips for Character Development: A look at developing characters based on archetypes, motivations, and secrets.
Three Motivations for your Villains: A look at three potential drivers for your villains, giving them reason for their actions.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures, and Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations. You can also support this site by using these links to purchase the D&D Starter Set, Players Handbook, Monster Manual, or Dungeon Master's Guide.