You’ve Gotta Have Goals

Inigo Montoya

Breaking down the 20

It’s time to break down a bit more of the 20 question background. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about goals. What goals are worth having, different kinds of goals in gaming, and the distinction of goals and dreams. This is a bit of all of that, but the role of goals in the life of a PC can’t be underestimated. We like to think of them as adventurers with good hearts and unclear goals, but goals can tell you a lot about who a person is by telling you what they want.

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The 3 Major Responsibilities of Players

The Violator

So waaay back, about two years ago, I wrote a post about what I see as the primary goals of GMing. Create a vital setting, a vibrant style, a safe space to play, and treat players with respect. Some of those we can cash out as responsibilities, especially the last two. And I’m going to do that, but not today. The things a GM is responsible for have been done do death, and will be done to death here at some point too, when I finally come up with something interesting to say about how the core responsibility of a GM is not to be a dick to people. No, this is about players. So I wrote part of my master’s thesis on ethics in D&D, and I learned some really interesting things about the responsibilities of everyone involved. Today I want to share some of that.

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Dreams vs. Goals

Killer Bunny Slippers

When creating a character, a vision of the future is important. A person’s goals speak to what they want to accomplish, and their methods of doing it tell a story about their motivation and their values. But there’s a need to distinguish between dreams and goals. Goals can be accomplished in the scope of the game, and include steps you can take, but dreams are far more elusive. As a GM, I’m chiefly interested in goals, because those are the things that shape what a character is doing nowRead more

Goals, Part 2

Last week I talked about the different kinds of goals we have in games, with a focus on D&D. But not all goals are created equal. There are kinds of goals which don’t necessarily take into consideration the interests of other players, or which cut off opportunities rather than creating them. I want to outline what I think some of these kinds of goals are. I also want to take the time to look at why, although they could be reasonable goals in certain settings, they’re not constructive for a co-operative role playing game like D&D. Read more

D&D Goals

Every time I start a D&D game, I ask for some goals related to the characters involved. Sometimes I get some. Sometimes I get a lot. D&D doesn’t include a lot of character development in the process, like Burning Wheel or Spirit of the Century do, so I think it’s important to add that in. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to talk about goals for players in D&D and D&Desque games explicitly, what kinds there are, why they matter, and some of the goals which fall short of that kind of game.  Read more

GMing Goals

After some delay, I decided to make my first real post about GMing goals. It’s a lot of work, but what’s it for, when you really get down to it? I want to explore the overarching goal, some smaller goals which contribute to it, and how to attain them.

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