I’ve been running one-on-one sessions with my wife so we can get the hang of DW before porting a 4e campaign over. …

I’ve been running one-on-one sessions with my wife so we can get the hang of DW before porting a 4e campaign over. …

I’ve been running one-on-one sessions with my wife so we can get the hang of DW before porting a 4e campaign over.  However, I keep running into a problem that I’m hoping someone has advice on: when I ask my wife “what do you do,” she freezes.  She goes to her character sheet (as you would with D&D) and seems not to be able to just go with the fiction and build on it.  In our D&D game, she would all the time want to do things the rules don’t allow for, etc., but now that we’re bringing in a game that WANTS her take the reins, it’s like she doesn’t know what to do.  I’ve told her to start with the fiction, just tell me what she wants to do, and the moves will follow from there if triggered.  I’ve tried to convey that her imagination is the limit (especially as she’s playing a wizard right now and has access to rituals in places of power).  I’m sure she’ll get it and be very good at it – she actually loves a fairy-tale like epicness to stories – but right now she’s having a hard time letting go and just going wild in the game world. 

Has anyone else here had a player that hit this wall?  How did you help them grasp the game?  I’ve sent her the link to the DW Guide (very handy!) but not sure she’s read it.  It’s bound to be a limitation on my part (in conveying a fantastic enough world) as I’m also learning, but I have an easier time pulling things from my posterior because I’ve always been a GM/DM.  Thoughts?  Any help?  Thanks in advance!

11 thoughts on “I’ve been running one-on-one sessions with my wife so we can get the hang of DW before porting a 4e campaign over. …”

  1. it happens. I personally never had one on one sessions, so that usually if one (or even two) players had that kind of problem, I’d go with someone else and they’ll take example or at the very least inspiration. Try to play with someone else is my advice, and see how it goes 🙂

  2. I did have that thought.  Once we port the 4e campaign (didn’t happen over the weekend as hoped), there’ll be another player involved and I think between them they’ll get it.  I just hate to see her struggle or feel put on the spot, because I’m doing this port for her sake.  The other player loves 4e combat but for her it takes waaaay too long get it over with and back to the story – DW is perfect for having epic fights that don’t take so long and keeping the story moving.  I know she’ll love it, she just has to learn how to play it.

  3. I think part of it is having only one player. Because you are always going to her for what to do she probably feeling choice fatigue. Hopefully more players will make the whole situation better.

  4. It sounds like having no other pcs to play off of is intimidating (it would be for ). It might help a little to keep things in the third person, i.e. refer to her character instead of “You”

  5. Give her and her character a solid goal. Why is she out adventuring instead of just staying home where it’s relatively safe? What is so important to her that she’s willing to risk her life for it?

  6. I do a lot of one on one DMing for my wife too. Have a DM controlled PC (or companion character in 4e speak) accompany your wife’s PC. Whenever she gets stuck, have the companion offer a couple suggestions, but otherwise remain pretty much silent. Don’t always railroad her with the “correct” answer with this method. Make sure they offer some dumb ideas too. Just enough to get her thinking when she’s stuck. After a while, when she gets the hang of it, they can conveniently get killed if you don’t want them around anymore.

  7. She is currently traveling with a fighter and cleric but I have not used them to suggest anything. They let her do the talking and group decisions until there is a clear situation where they should step in and help. I will experiment with suggestions next time – thanks for the advice!

  8. I played with my gf last week and all I can say is similar to what Peter Johansen said: she has to have a VERY solid goal. But you don’t have to give it to her, she has to create it by herself. Anytime, even between sessions, talk about her goals, even brainstorm a little to understand where you both want the story to go, build the setting together and design monsters and cool magic items she might want.

    I noticed that stuck players all have the issue of being goal-less. A player with a clear goal is a player who knows where to go and what to try when he gets the chance to act. My gf gave her character a couple of strong goals, so the whole session was based around them and she didn’t even want like a brief break to regroup or whatnot for 3 hours straight.

    And, try to get your buddy to play DW. Really. It’s time to move on from 4e. I loved it too, but now it’s gone. We all have to accept this loss. Do it for your wife’s sake, if anything.

  9. I like the suggestion of Alessandro Gianni as relates to goal driven characters. However, don’t pressure a player that cannot think of anything to do, see it as a Golden Opportunity and make a GM move. Eventually you must be able to come up with a hard enough move to get her into action. Another tip is taking away her character sheet, and really show her how the game’s fiction driven and that your moves aren’t skills and attack options in the D&D sense.

  10. Thanks for all the input. I like the idea of having her play without a character sheet for a session, as well as better defining her goals. I will give this stuff a try!

Comments are closed.