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Offer Choices at the End of the Session

by Mike on 26 May 2022

When you have a game with multiple paths the characters can take, describe those paths and get the players to pick one before the end of the game. This helps you stay lazy and still offer a range of choices to the players.

Offering choices and getting decisions at the end of a session works well for adventures like Rime of the Frostmaiden where the characters have numerous quests at any given point and must choose a direction for their adventures. Instead of needing to prepare every possible option, you can time things so those choices land at the end of the session and the players make their decision before the session ends. Now paths collapse and you know exactly what you need to prepare for the next session instead of needing to prepare for all contingencies.

Timing is critical for this trick. Ensure you end the main event of a session ten or fifteen minutes early so the players can discuss, debate, and choose options before the game's over. It won't work well if players have to rush through their choices. Keep an eye on the clock and move the story forward to give yourself this time at the end of a game.

Great games come from laying out lots of options and watching the world come alive from the choices the players make. Open worlds with options can be hell on DMs who must prepare for all potential paths. By timing your sessions to offer meaningful choices and eliciting decisions from your players at the end of a session, you can offer those option and reduce your prep at the same time.

Offer choices at the end of a session.

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