I role play a bit, but what I really enjoy is running a campaign. I will run solo sessions and group sessions... it doesn't matter. What ive learned about myself though is that I absolutely love to see how characters develop. Sometimes they choose the good side. Sometimes they chose to be bad guys... sometimes they chose the path if PAIN! I Just LOVE the role play. The emphasis on the Role Play.
And to my keen eyesight that is what Has come to govern my DM style!
So HOW does that look in practice? It means you need to LEARN to have the character where yoy can suspend your judgement about where YOU want the adventure and plot to go.. and to let the open play nature of D&D take YOU on a journey ALONG with your players. This can be difficult. I KNOW! If you’ve ever sat down with an experienced DM who always seems to have a solution for EVERY scenario you throw at them... and then you look back on that experience and say... wow. I’ll never be as good as them.... well. You’re wrong. All you need is practice. And playing is HOW you practice....
So let me tell you a story....
A fellow DM posted to the All Things D&D group on Facebook, that he needed advice about a character that chose a contentious character arc that ‘could‘ pit him against his group Or at best make it harder.... This is what I responded:
“This is TOUGH! I know.
I tend to run a session in a VERY open manner. I allow stuff all the time that most prolly wouldnt BUT, i also try to tailor the encounters to the players either solo or as a group to MOVE their characters story's and character development in a direction of THEIR choosing, without making too many judgements about what the outcome may be.
Well. Cause to me as a DM, its not just about MY plot line... its about character development, and THAT to ME is the single biggest glue that binds the sessions together, invests the players in their characters and makes them want to come back and play with you some more.
So..... to your problem player..... he has given YOU A GIFT!
Play it out. Literally. Let the chips fall where they may and if there are consequences..... let it be.
Sometimes you need to walk the character to the edge... and call their bluff.
If they die... RP their encounter with ‘death’
Does the party stabilize him?
Does he die and go to hell?
Who does he meet?
Do you have a high lvl paladin or cleric NPC swoop in and restore him? Or take him away to convalesce?
Does he actually meet the face of his god in death? Does he role play his character as a consequence of the outcome of any of these DM tactics?
But most importantly do they begin to Role Play?
As my players have heard me say it....
“Play it out.”
This encapsulates my ENTIRE DM experience. I WANT to see how the story ends Too.
Now, lets play!
We Tinker! You Play!