Campaign First Aid! Help needed :|

I've been running a campaign since this around October last year, and it had a good start. But now it's fallen on it's back it seems. There seems to be many reasons. As a Storyguide, I'm usually bored when running it. The other guy who's storyguiding it too also seems bored. The problems, as I see it, are:
-There are little or no "in character" roleplaying.
-Left to their own, the character will not roleplay or even do anything to push any kind of story forward.
-There are five guys and two girls playing in this campaign, age 21-31. The girls are the best roleplayers, but they really don't know anything about the rules. The guys are usually not roleplaying at all, but they are very interested in the rules..mostly.
-The main interest the group has seems to be to create magical items and spells, or increase abilities.. peferably without any roleplaying.
-The story has to be dragged along by me and the other storyguide. The players doesn't seem interested in stories outside the lab at all.
-The players are active enough when they get a story "done for them". What I mean by that is when the Storyguide is the one driving the story forward, and the players are just reactive to the events as they are unfolding.

So, any ideas on how to save or salvage this campaign? I really like Ars Magica, but I'm at a loss here. One of the things I like the most about Ars Magica is the proactive style of playing it.



I don't know the specifics or the setting of your game, but some generic advice that could be helpful is to set aside one night just for just discussion and lab crunch. Yeah, lab crunch is part of the fun of the game. It makes you feel like a wizard. I myself like long term sagas, so I sometimes drop a couple of years of down time on the players. Give them a chance to develop some and indicate to me where it is they want to take their character. Running into lab difficulties can often lead to adventure, which allows for great role playing opportunity. But more so, put one night aside to discuss where everyone would like to take the game. If one of them is willing, work with one of these girls that are good role players, get them to run a story arc. Handle the rules end of it for them, while using it as an opportunity to get them more into the rules. The guys will fall in line naturally thereafter I figure :wink:

I recall my last game. It was always a battle between the Verditius (who wanted more and more downtime for his creations) and me, who wanted more adventures to use my talents in.

I agree with Marko. Any and all lab crunch should be taken care of on a seperate day. Every actual game session, you come in there with a stack of notes for story ideas. Maybe sketch out a brief module to start.

Although it's a little confrontational, another idea that might work is the Immanent Threat to Laboratory - even the most dedicate lab rats can usually be persuaded to go and do something if not doing so results in their lab being burned to the ground by a swarm of angry firedrakes, dissolved by acid shooting killer bees, or any of a range of other rather hostile critter.

For a somewhat less dangerous option, just have whatever it is slouch around the edges of the covenant, outside the aegis proper, eating their vis sources, harrassing their grogs, generally making trouble and destroying things directly related to labwork. Impose a -10 lab total penalty to Whatever, because the grues are eating all of the incoming materials. (maybe they love the taste of an alchemical reagent or something? shrug)

This should at least provoke -some- reaction, you just need to make sure it isn't "well, this isn't any fun, we're not playing". I suggest if you're going to use the Stick like this, make sure to mention the Carrot as well. Perhaps one of the firedrakes would make a good familiar, and whatever it is probably has some vis. To make it more interesting for you, play it almost like a challenge on your part - what's the most amusing, interesting, weird and terrible thing you can spring on them without being cheesy or flat out destroying the covenant, and then (hopefully) you get the fun of working out all the specifics, then narrating the consequences of the place being beseiged by thousands of bees or regenerating lizards eating all the food or whatever it is. Then just sit back and see what they do, and if they do nothing, make it worse. If you have any NPCs handy, have them complain to the council or whoever is in charge that the situation is intolerable. As before, the only major drawback to this is making sure it's still interesting and hasn't got to be us vs the SG, which is bad. Luckily it sounds like they're okay with reactive events, so it shouldn't get that way... Then, once they've left the labs to DEAL with whatever it is, draw them further out - hint at a reason the things were sent. If they don't take the hint, MORE plagues of monsters or strange disappearing brickwork or whatever it is you've decided on. Keep it up until they get their act together and go and find out who or what is tormenting them so, and then reward them heftily for doing so, give them a chunk of downtime to be done in one session... and NEXT session, when they think everything's calmed down, you can grin, say "Well, it was quiet for a few years... but..." and watch as they ask what's happened now, hopefully enjoying themselves.

Those are my suggestions, it'll depend heavily on the group and such, and I agree with all of the other advice above.

My guess is that the characters are dealing with accumulation of power because there is nothing that's clearly more important to them. I'd suggest giving them another goal to work towards. Defending their covenant from Mongol invasion, recovering the library and accompanying tower from a faerie king who claims that it was a gift, reversing the curse placed upon them by the serpent of the north sea... something huge and that will take years to accomplish.

If they don't have something to work for they won't work for it.

Eirik, I'm going to be brutally honest... :smiling_imp:

I think you have a dysfunctional troupe, but before anyone takes affront let me at once clear out any notion of it aiming to be derogatory -I've been in dysfunctional groups myself- as it is way of stating that your saga has one major flaw: that you are not having fun. And all roleplaying (at least as a hobby and not as an educational tool - which is a completely different story) should be fun; it's the prime directive of it so to speak. Moreso you are not having fun because the members of the troupe have different, opposing even, preferences.

Difference of basic preferences is really a fundamental issue to a troupe and I do not believe you can save it with in-game turns and tricks - on scene first aid so speak doesn't solve it and surgery is needed. What I suggest is that you cancel a session, make damn sure all the troupe can be there, and then have a discussion about what you want. Be carefull not to let the discussion slide into 'right ways of playing' or a 'blame' criterion - address the issue openly that you have different preferences and try to uncover those. Several outcomes might be possible: that with an added awareness of each others preferences all might be more willing or more able to reach out and give in so that everyone gets more of what they play for; some players might express a shift in preferences when talking about it - either influenced by their peers or because such a talk can give courage to try things the person earlier used to be somewhat siege mentality toward.

Finally and most importantly - never be afraid to 'kill your darlings' so to speak, simply making the decision to close the saga even if you love it dearly. But preparing enthusiasticly week after week only to be disappoint each time you actually have a session is a horrible and souring disappointment. A middle road might be to divide the troupe - let the saga continue in two seperate dimensions: one with the players favoring rulesy gamism and one with the ones prefering in-character interaction. Even if you might be very few my experience is that a group of 2-3 players and a SG can be much more fun than a larger group - if they are on the same page. You might also start from scratch and/or invite new players - but if you do that make sure to include people you know you have somewhat compatible preferences with.

I know this is a hard core approach and I understand many things might play a role, but look at it this way - if you are bored when storyguiding then I'm dead certain your players should be able to feel that and even if they are not bored themselves, that should curb their own fun. Secondly talking this over might reveal that some of the players are bored too. I know your players might be old friends and that you play together for nostalgia as much as for the game - but you might find other occasions to do stuff together instead of everybody becoming disillusioned from doing something boring together.

Personally I play with and old groupe of mine - it is not the fun I seek in roleplaying - the in-character roleplaying is absent (with me as the odd stuborn exception) and the impact on the narration is slim and it is basically much more roll-playing than role-playing. We don't play Ars but various other games. Somehow I'm getting better at having fun there, having accepted that it is not my favorite kind of game and that it is in fact a completely different hobby (preferences being the operative word!), but I enjoy the company of my oldest roleplaying friends. It is only possible because I get my personal preferences fulfilled elsewhere - with the troupe I put together for Ars Magica. It took me a year to get started on Ars Magica from I started designing the saga and setting, but it was all worth it, taking the time to persuade like-minded roleplayers to join the troupe.

As a last remark I'll just have to, once again, advocate reading a bit of roleplaying theory - I know it's a cause of mine, but I really believe having words to put on preferences and having tapped into the thoughts of people who've discussed this subject intensively makes it easier to address one's own challenges. Take the last paragraph on this webpage on the problems you are facing - having read those thoughts have really helped me in the past coming to terms with how to run a troupe. And face it, even if we do play together, a SG is basically still a leader. Leadership never comes without doubts and challenges.

Eirik - good luck with the surgery. I hope that both the surgery will be succesfull AND that the patient will survive!

I'm sorry to hear that. Boredom is the last thing you want. I would ask, what excites you about the game? What kind of stories do you like? And what kind of player interaction do you and your troupe like?

Why those three questions? Well, say you particularly like the division of the four Realms, well, you've perhaps got the start of a theme for a number of stories. As you like the theme you'll probably invest more and get more out of it. And let's say you like conspiracy stories. So now you might be asking how you can build a conspiracy story using the four realms as a backdrop (maybe each story in the sequence is set in a different realm, or maybe the main villains exemplify one of those realms in turn). And lastly, if you like lots of cooperation between players and characters, put them all in the same boat. If you like a little more distrust and sneaking, approach each character separately and give them a piece of the puzzle.

So now you're engaged, you have a solid idea of where your stories are going to build to, and you're tailoring them to how you guys want to play.

This is a tricky one. Some of the art of roleplaying comes through experience. If your guys are not that experienced then some of the "in character" stuff will be a little stilted. We've just had the daughter of one of our troupe join us. She's 15 (I think) and very smart. But she's still in the "my character says to him" mode of playing. But you know what, that'll come with time.

I would do two things: Make sure you stay in character when (appropriate and) dealing with a given player character. Use a few tricks to bring them into the moment (such as using a prop and handing it over as part of the character interaction). Use open questions. When describing locations tell them they can have whatever they might expect to be at hand (one of my pet peeves is players asking "is there is a table I can use in this scriptorium").

You're probably not going to break that overnight and you probably shouldn't aim to. You just have a slightly different focus for each. So I'd play to that.

Do all seasons of study off-line. Don't set aside a gaming evening for that because you'll have 4 out of 5 people bored and waiting for their turn to do stuff. If you get your guys to do it all away from the gaming table they can just update you with interesting results. Just trust them to get on with it.

Okay, so use that. What if something catastrophic happened to their labs or library? How do they deal with that? And do they have story flaws? If so, it's time to run a story flaw in each story until they're done. That makes the story personal.

You can't do it for all stories, but try throwing in a clock. For instance, I ran a story that involved the various portents that would announce the coming of ragnarok. Chiefly, these were three winters in succession. In the summer I had the river freezing over. In the autumn I had the leaves turn to snow as they fell from the trees. They guys then tried to work out when the next winter was going to happen and how to stop it... It took them a little while but they realised that winter WAS the next season... Good luck stopping that one. So there was a clock involved. They had to find the culprit before winter. You can sit back and count down the weeks for them if you like; "Do you want to do anything in the coming week? No? Well, that's one week down.".

Make it engaging for you. That's the golden rule. If you're not having fun with it your players won't either. Run stories that you find interesting.

Make it engaging for your players. Use their character to guide the stories you tell. Don't be afraid to draw on story flaws for the full payment you can get out of them. And don't be afraid of sowing a little suspicion between magi. And do things beyond paper and pencil. Make a few props (letters printed on parchment-style paper are grand as they provide information and give the players something to hold and feel... and hide)

Be bold. If you need a little life in your saga, nothing says "wow" quite like "ouch". If life is cosy, shake it up. If their covenant is secure, make it insecure. If your saga is going to go, make it go with a bang. After all, there's no point nurturing the big climax if the small stories don't keep the saga going until the end.

Thanks for the good replies, folks. :slight_smile:

I''ve thought the same thing as Furion for a long time. The group really likes the idea of Ars Magica, but they're not very suited for how the game is played, or at least, how I feel it should be played. So without really know it myself, in the start, I've gradually changed the playing style to the more traditional "reactive" roleplaying style, like, for example, D&D.
I'm not saying there's something wrong with that style. In fact, I'm about to start a D&D campaign on the side.
But lately, when I've flipped through the Ars Magica books, I go like "Oh, why bother?"
In fact, I think the group is gradually beginning to make me dislike the game. That is not good. Is it time to just put it on the shelf and take it out again when I get a better group?

Or should I just throw the characters into a new story far away from their covenant and labs?

I would be happy for story ideas suited for a group like this, though. :slight_smile:


You're welcome.

Any game (pretty much) can be played any way you want. You could play D&D in the same way as you would Ars Magica if you wanted to. It just comes down to the question about what kind of stories you like. And what your troupe likes. If they want to slay the dragon, but you want to drag them into mundane politics, fine, you've just got two elements of your next story (can the Duke of Burgundy control the dragon hatchling given to him as a gift by Gilbert of Gournay, how did Gilbert come by it, why give it to such a powerful man, and shouldn't the duke heed his stablemaster's warning about how much the hatchling seems to be eating..?)

If the game just doesn't suit your group, then pushing and pushing will make everybody resentful of the game.

Before you chuck it all in and start a new game with the same guys, I'd give it a last go with Ars Magica. Just do something surprising that you haven't done before. Give them something that leaves them asking what will happen in the next bit... What would happen if your regular characters return to their covenant to find a new set of magi and companions living there? And all the charters and the histories back their claim, not yours. None of their grogs are there, but strangely their magical allies are, but again do not recognise them. But why is the statue given to the covenant by Guillaume de Resson covered by a canvas? And why, when the canvas is removed is it simply not there?

Just load it up with mysteries and questions. Now you have an (hopefully) interesting job of making a logical story out of those elements and your troupe will be able to respond, the roleplayers interacting with these new magi and the rules-crunchers trying to work out the mechanics of how it's all happened.

Well, there's two ideas there. If you'd like more you might want to post any story flaws your troupe or covenant has.

If you are not having fun, maybe resting a bit might help. I suggest the pow wow session first, and maybe some of the other ideas. Also, keep in mind that if you shelve it, you can always come back to it later. I myself, instead of the grand saga storyarc approach, I tend towards creating a setting and have serial arcs that vary in size and importance. Which has allowed me to put down a saga and pick it back up at a later time.

Still, talk it over with the troupe. Get some feedback and input. You shouldn't have to carry the weight of the game alone on your sholders.

If the guys don't like playing their magi they can play companions and the girls my play their magi. Is it a problem? Usually companions also have a lot of story flaws.
Give little gifts for the adventuring magi to make the others envyous. :smiley:
Not vis but like a comb giving +1 to presence for an hour, or let them to win a chance to take a bath in the pool of the youthness (or beauty) while the others working in the lab on longevity rituals and so on.

I completely agree with that last. I think it's jumping to conclusions to say "dysfunctional" - altho' it's quite possible - but the latter statement sounds more likely.

Different people RP for different reasons, and Game Masters tend to overlook that in their enthusiasm. If in fact this group has radically different views/preferences, then it may be a lost cause. Unless you can bring them around to your preferred way.

( How long have you known this group, these people? Have you ever seen them game the way you prefer? )

Don't let "possiblility" be your measure - go on reality.

"Reactive" vs "Proactive" playstyle is - or can be - largely a matter of habit. Many of us, when we first started RPG's, were only exposed to the "Call and Response" style...
"You come to a door - what do you do?" (response...)
"You meet an old man - what do you do?" (response...)
"You see a dragon - what do you do?" (response...)
If the GM didn't tell give us a "prompt", it wasn't our turn to respond. Even complex plans were in response to a complex presentation by the GM. Not realistic, but it was the stylized game we learned. We reacted, and reacted only, and only when the stimulus was presented. If there wasn't a ring in our nose, we didn't know which way the GM wanted us to go to advance the plot - because linear pre-planned plots were all we ever saw.

I forget when I was first exposed to the "proactive" - sometime in college, probably, with a different gaming group. The ability for a Character to take a hard left turn, and have a Game Master agile enough to adapt the story to that turn - what a concept! And it took a while to wrap my mind around, and then more to get good at it. (Altho' some players never did, nor wanted to.)

So... how to open that door to your players, so at least some of them might come through? (Because even if only a few of them do, the rest can ride their creativity, and possibly follow suit later.)

You need a good Enemy.

A good Enemy will give a reason for the Characters to get up in the morning, a goal to chase, and a common direction. And you need one that will last once the hook is set.

A good enemy isn't just a simple threat, and it isn't just a one-time wound, it's a sore spot that keeps rubbing raw. You have to burn the PC's, trick or betray them, steal from them or cheat them, so they aren't (just) hurt, they're really pissed off, and stay that way. And the Enemy has to be fair game - "Open season on Enemy" signs everywhere. No Bishops or Nobles or Faerie Kings (not for this group, too complex a problem.)

So, while Faeries or Demons could fit the bill, they might also be too obscure or ethereal, or vast. I'd suggest a Hedge Mage, or a failed apprentice. Specifically, a "trickster", one who feels superior to the Order, and enjoys proving it, again and again. Give him the ability of Illusions, and a cruel streak and a sense of humour.

Maybe the Hedgemage meets them innocently enough, and as equals, and they slight/offend him, or try to pull the "Join the Order or Else" routine. Game on.

First, disguised as a wise woodsman or merchant, he offers to guide the players somewhere they're traveling, and leads them in a long circle - (big illusions? Grey skies = no sun, and no one notices? etc.) So, they've just wasted a week, and are late for X. Grrrr....

Then he takes all their handy cash in pocket - just because he can - and abandons them. He then disguises himself as one of the PC's and racks up a huge bill in the town they're heading towards (the same one he met them at?!), committing offenses against barmaids and farmers' daughters and innkeeps and the mayor's dog. (Enter Players, broke...) Meanwhile, he goes back to their home area and as a different PC offends a priest near their home town. (Players: "Ah, it's good to be home after all that...")

The hedgemage finds the Covenant scribe in town, and asks him to copy a message for him - it's a declaration of war on the Players, which the scribe will deliver, unwittingly - illusions and confusions. The mage doesn't let up, and he keeps rubbing it in at every chance. Only when they get "too close" does he cool down, but only for a short while. Next he appears as an old man, and lets them recognize him, and he runs. Just over the hill, is the real town elder... blast Then he disappears again, but only for a while. Make sure they hates him forever.

Or create an Enemy that pushes any button that you know you can push on the Players/Characters - take their pride rather than something of monetary value. Let someone in their charge get injured/killed/traumatized. Lose a favorite NPC specialist. Make them look bad in the eyes of the Order, or their neighbors. Twist the knife, but slowly. Death of a thousand paper cuts.

Now, a good Enemy is something to keep, so... use the Rotten Onion approach. Any time they finally find and deal with "the Enemy", the discover that they were only a pawn for some "real" enemy, slightly larger and more powerful and more distant. Each rotten layer peeled away reveals another deeper in. And as the Characters get stronger, so can the enemies. And the Players get the "satisfaction of winning", even as the knife gets turned one more time. The Illusionist is just an apprentice to a Master. That Master is part of a Hedge-Cabal. And so on.

Basically, you have to make it clear that if they don't ~DO~ something, things will keep getting done to them. If they don't fix the roof, it'll keep leaking. Nothing that stops their activities - don't force their hand with misunderstanding Quaesitores or an uprising in the local Bishopric (tho' those could occur too, in small ways), make their choice optional, but painful if they ignore it. Especially painful to their egos. Invite them (in no uncertain terms) to take action. Small victories leading to the climactic one. Then the next layer of the onion.

And, hopefully, they will have learned proactive play somewhere along the line.

Ok, let me run through the list of characters in the group, and describe the player's style. Maybe we can pitch some ideas back and forth to really bring the characters into play here. :slight_smile:

-Caminus, a Hoplite of House Flambeau. The guy playing him really has only one "in character" playing style, but that's alot better than none. He always plays his characters as arrogant noble types. But in the case of Caminus, it fits quite well. The Companion he plays is the lesser noble who controls the area in which the covenant is situated. Can't remember Story Flaws for these characters right now.

-Khrabanas, a Raven Bjornaer of Clan Wilkis. He is played by the other Storyguide, who governs all covenant business and relations. He is also tired of the rather lazy playing style of the troupe. He is a decent roleplayer. He's not made a Companion yet.

-Enyo of Thessaly. The girl who plays this Ex Miscellanea maga is very new to roleplaying games, but she's also one of the better roleplayers. She hasn't played anything other than this campaign. Her story flaw is Diabolic Past, due to her connections to the Witches of Thessaly. She has a strange, magic-eating cat as a familiar. This cat is also a story element, but she doesn't know it yet. Of all the players, she is the most proactive, and she is a better roleplayer than most. The Companion character this player plays is a diabolical noblewoman married to the lord of the lands (the lord being played by the player of Caminus ex Flambeau). This noblewoman is inspired by Elizabeth Báthory (

-Arion of Bonisagus. This character is played by one of the least active roleplayers in the group, and in some ways, it's a good fit, since this character is mostly interested in studying books, making spells and such. I really don't know alot about this character, as he hasn't made a big impression yet (although we've played since september or october). This character is also the oldest of the magus, and therefore he is the council leader (the campaign has not gone past seven years yet).

-Quaesitor Casilaho ex Guernicus is played by the boyfriend of another player (see below). He's ok as a roleplayer, but wouldn't be there if it hadn't been for his girlfriend, or so I guess. He's not very good at taking initiative, even though he's playing a Quaesitor, and I often have to remind him of his duties.

-Irmangard ex Merinita is played by the girlfriend of the player behind the Quaesitor. She's one of the better roleplayers, when she remembers to stay in character, but the rules and character advancement doesn't seem to interest her much. The character has Strong Faerie Blood, and the Story Flaw is Plagued by Supernatural Entity (a Faerie Lord). When outside the covenant, she disguises her self as a ten year old boy. This player plays an interesting Companion. She is a girl, about ten years old, with a supernatural affinity for plants and herbs. In reality, she is possessed by a demon, but this demon doesn't come out, because she also has a guardian angel who wants to destroy this demon. So there is a kind of siege going on, and the castle is the girl's body. I made this Companion for the player, and she was inspired by the little girls from the game Bioshock :slight_smile:

-Hector ex Verditius is played by a player who've missed about half the sessions so far. Can't say much about him, other than that I don't want to spend alot of time developing a story for this character unless the players shows up more often.

Yes, this seems to be all of them. Would be great to make a story that could involve as many as possible of these characters. I just started on Calabeis now, but they will have to leave that place soon and come back later, since they weren't very prepared, and they didn't make any friends along the the way (none of them have Gentle Gift, and they didn't bring any Companions).



I don't think your group would be bad. It's rather a general. 4 of the 7 players are interested and this is a good ratio.
Lower your expectations and base your stories on the active players.
I think the guys who have no companions has the least interest in the story. It's not a catastrophe.

It's also natural girls don't care the rules. You should help the advancement of their characters, give them ideas and don't anticipate anything from them related to the rules. As you said they are the best role players so it worths to support them. They should be aided even in magic issues by the other players especially in spontaneous magic.

I suppose you SGs made the grogs. Arion and Hector will play always just grogs in adventures. That's sure. If they are lazy make them grogs based on their players personality without mentioning it.

You should encourage in character dialogs that's all.

If they didn't get the ArM setting you shouldn't penalize them so much because of this. You can teach them by the redcap. He may bring news in which someone is penalized because of a hermetic sin, or possibilities they also able to do.

I'd suggest that you aim for the characters of the players who seem to relate well to your playstyle.

If you can bring those characters/players in on one unified (or several inter-related) story line, then those players will synergize and the proaction will increase. Let the others fall in as they may, and jump on them only once/if they start to sparkle.

The "best" plot twist is something that you spin from their interests, fears, concerns or musings. As a SG, listen to their casual tabletalk, and if you overhear something like "Oh, it'd be great if..." or "Oh, what if they do X...?" or "Do you think that...?", then make that happen - or the reverse, or something based off that.

More than any story you can come up with, more than any we can suggest, the Players' fears/hopes/desires/guesses are the best reflection of things that will hold their interest.

(But I'd still suggest the Trickster...)

• Small earthquake. Some cracks in the covenant walls and structures. Need to use some magic to repair the damage. Some labs might get some significant damage, in order to stir player concern

• Smallish replicas in the following days.

• Mad prophet (AKA the ”SG’s whore”) that comes along claiming calamities to unfold because “HE IS BACK!!! THE GREAT BEING IS HERE!” Give him a Magic resistance of 70 or so (maybe he carries around more relics than he can tell about), so he cannot be brain-read. Or make him say so in a village where a few covenfolk are buying supplies. Then, he disappears before they can trap or corner him. Make the Prophet remind the people hiw this happened 200-ish years ago, just before The GREAT CATASTROPHE!" or something silly like that. This might even end up being either a hint to what to search fotr or a fake device

• Concern in the faeries of the area. Even the plaguing fae prince might be in fear.

The prophet might have scared the local nobility as well, that might be thinking that the covenant are the responsible of the quasi-disaster. Some firebrand priest might be even fuelling this. maybe a demon as well, if you want some enemy to beat to hell (literally).

• Some magical source of the magi might dry up unexpectedly (the magical stream stops to flow, for example).

The final all powerful being can be a dragon that needs to be convinced to leave, or something as “innocent” as a Gifted children that has an affinity with terram and is playing with his newfound friends, theearth elementals of the area. Or something in between.

If they like their lab so much, make them move their sorry asses to protect them :wink:

quite a straight story, but it might introduce a few things, demonstrate that martial, power does not solve everything, iontroduce the need to negotiate with other beings for help or info in finding and defeating the treat and put to the fore the investigatibe abilities that they need to solve the "mystery".

Just some random thoughts. Basically a plot device that can be big or small depending on your tastes and needs, but whose objective is to have the magi move their asses from the covenant not necessarily to beat stuff up, but to find what is the actual cause of the problem ansd deal with it.

It belongs to the "reactive" playing style, but you simply present the situation. If they go about razing the area or investigating and tralking with the natural and supernatural beings in the area is up to them.

Hope that helps and make them think about what they need and how to solve such problems in advance..



My suggestion is to handle it from the player end rather than the Storyguide end.

When you listed the characters, you didn't list yours. Are you playing as proactivly as you want the other players to do? I can see not wanting to deal with those issues while you are storyguide, but if you make it a point of telling your GM what you want to do in the style you want your players to ask you when you are GM, they might pick up the hint.

Well, I am the GM, so that's a problem. :slight_smile: But the group does have a "Beta Storyguide" who takes care of the Covenant stories. When he's the Storyguide, I play a Norse Bjornaer Otter, but I try not to "run the story" myself when I'm a player. Maybe I should?

An idea - it's not typical, but extreme times and extreme measures and all that...

Talk with your Beta SG, explain your concerns. For just one adventure, "set up" a situation where you can set the example of the players being proactive. You taking the reins won't do it - you have to teach them, be an example but one that then allows room for them to follow suit.

Don't take the full XP that it might generate - let your character go do something pointless IC. Set the example, open the door and let them walk thru.

If you set it up right, so that there are a ~bunch~ of proactive options, maybe they'll take the bait, and form new habits, especially if they're rewarded IC for it. No need to ever mention the set-up to the rest of the Players - this is more than "first aid", this is SG/Saga triage time!

I keep thinking that maybe some new players would do the trick? One or two extra players could maybe keep the group from stagnating too much. Hmm.. :neutral_face: But Ars players are somewhat hard to come by around these parts..