The number one skill I value in players is being able to come up with and work towards ambitions for their characters. I’m terrible at writing good adventure hooks and have never liked the kind of world-threatening stakes required to force characters to engage or die, but without these it can be hard to run sandboxes. (Few things make me roll my eyes as hard as when an action movie ups the stakes to the entire world unnecessarily. Die Hard 1 was a single plaza, but the latest two involve plots that would destabilize the entire planet! But I digress.)
When players commit to a plan - especially the kind of hilariously ambitious ones they often seem to favour - it makes it much, much easier. You just have to tell them what they need to do next, but they’re still the ones picking what they’re doing and how, so while you can guide them to the stuff you want to run they’re still in control of the situation.
– Malcolm 2020-12-19 19:46 UTC
Oh, such a great point! Of course! In a sandbox, that skill is essential, agreed.
– Alex 2020-12-19 19:55 UTC
I’ve really been burned as a DM by too strong, world-shaking Maguffins. That can get in the way of players staking their own course.
– Sandra Snan 2020-12-21 10:58 UTC