Recently, I’ve got my Geist chronicle off the ground and the first two sessions went really well. And while I’m still plotting the course of this adventure, I am already looking into the future (remember my 1886 post?). I mean, a GM just can’t help it: the flow of ideas is unstoppable, and holding it back would just backfire sooner or later.

One of the thoughts that struck me today was the following: how can I give players more influence on shaping not just the course of the campaign, but also the world itself. Even though the player characters will do things that change a town, city or sometimes a nation, such things only happen on a rare occasion as the conclusion of a storyline. What tools could I give my companions to let them shape the world around their alter egos?

Well, the easiest thing I could do is tell them to come up with parts of the world. Let’s say one of them wants to play an elf sorcerer, but nothing in my setting notes has covered elves or their attitude towards sorcery yet. I could tell the player that he can create a little write-up about those topics, send them to me via mail and I will work with them. Using stuff your players created in your adventures gives them the feeling that they are involved in the creation process, but leaving things out might make them question why they did “all the work” in the first place.

In addition to that, this doesn’t give players actual influence on the changes in the world. But how would one go on doing that? Creating some kind of strategic downtime game in which the players take control of the powerful nations, vying for control of an unclaimed area? It surely sounds like an interesting idea, and I will see with what I can come up…