Role Playing Tips - By Johnn Four
10 WAYS TO SURPRISE YOUR PLAYERS & ENJOY THE FUN
For The Players
1. Give them each a chocolate bar or homemade cookies
halfway through the session.
2. Buy each player a toy that costs under two bucks.
Recently I gave my players silly putty, crayons, balloons,
pick-up sticks, a mini-lego set and modelling clay. I'm not
sure who had more fun: the players, or me when I borrowed
For The Characters
3. Free gold/credits/cash. Ever find money on the ground? I
have and it's a pleasant surprise. Just don't give away the
4. Free treasure. By treasure I mean items that are not
money. Let them find potions, scrolls, guns, an abandoned
ship, etc. If possible make the treasure a one-shot or
limited time item (i.e. 3 charges left, low on fuel, etc.)
to protect game balance.
5. Help them make a new ally. Often characters have to turn
the world upside down in order to earn the respect of their
peers. Let them make a new ally through a friendly
conversation or simple deed.
6. Let them find or make a good deal. Maybe a store has a
needed piece of equipment and it's under-priced. Perhaps a
rare item is found for sale. Mayhap a merchant gives them
too much in change. Or, gasp, the PCs pay for an item and
discover it is of higher than normal quality.
7. A new family member, or a long-lost one, contacts a PC.
Make this family member friendly and useful to the party in
8. How about giving a PC a free, useful, *non-annoying*
companion. Everybody likes a servant/helper/gopher.
9. Have the Bad Guy make a mistake in the PCs' favour. Or,
an unexpected boon gives the party an advantage over their
10. And here's the grand-daddy of all happy, unexpected
player surprises: one of their plans works without a hitch.
11. I asked my wife for ideas on surprising players. She
doesn't roleplay but among her suggestions, some of which
are above, was to give the characters pig snouts so they
could snuff out truffles. Er, well, make of it what you will
but I decided to include it for completeness. :)
Have more fun at every game!