Tabletop for Two: Episode Five
This episode of Tabletop for Two covers how to co-create the world of your one-on-one campaign and why that’s important.
If we think of the interactions at the gaming table as a spectrum, with GMs on one side and players on the other, duet D&D brings in the unique opportunity for the GM to take a step toward the player side of things and for the player to take a step toward the GM.
For duet D&D to be as interactive as possible, both parties need to bring story details, character motivations, and plot momentum to the table, which is what we discuss in this post and video!
Watch the Episode
Below, you’ll find our show notes and the topics we cover during our discussion.
Also, if you’d like to support Tabletop for Two and our other creations, we’d love for you to join us on patreon!
Part One: What is Collaborative Worldbuilding?
Collaborative Worldbuilding means that both parties, the GM and the player, are bringing details about the story world and how it works to the gaming table.
Read more about collaborative worldbuilding here!
Duet-style D&D is hyper-interactive, and it should work as a conversation between the two people at the table. GMs, to center the story around the PC, you’ll want to invite them to contribute as many details and actions as possible to the world of the game. Players, the GM is depending on you to help build out the world and story, to add your own unique take.
GM Best Practices
- Establishing trust is key. It’s not you vs the player. The two of you are working together.
For more about this, check out: Top Three Tips for DMs of One-on-One D&D
Player Best Practices
- Know your character and what they want, and communicate that with the GM
Want to know more? Check out this post: Two Tips for the Player in One-on-One D&D
Part Two: Specific Strategies
What does encouraging collaborative worldbuilding look like?
- You’ve been to this tavern a few times before. What’s it like?
- This NPC is an acquaintance of yours, though you haven’t seen them in a few years. What was your last experience with this character like?
You might also find this video on encouraging role-play helpful!
Examples from our game:
- In Tales of Eldura, one of the primary ways this comes up is in thinking about Garreth’s backstory and his relationship with his wife and his son. His quest to find his son is what’s driving him forward, and his dedication to his wife after her death is what’s put him in this particular faith and adventure situation to begin with. But Garreth’s relationship with his family also comes in when he’s flirting with an NPC, when he’s trying to take care of Tessina, or when he offers chilled red wine to someone as a gesture of love or remembrance.
- The chilled red wine is one of my (Beth’s) favorite examples. It’s those little things that make a world and characters feel real. We know people by their quirks of personality, sometimes more than we do by their character or person as a whole. When we allow our characters to have those unique particularities, it helps to make the game-world feel more vibrant and real.
We hope you’re enjoying Tabletop for Two and find the videos and show notes helpful! DMs, how do you encourage player interaction? Players, what are ways you like to add to the world of your gaming table? Let us know in the comments below!
If you like what you’re reading, please consider supporting the blog by purchasing our adventures and supplements in our shop or on DMsGuild or sponsoring us on Patreon. We’d also love for you to follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We appreciate you so much! Thank you for reading. – Beth and Jonathan
We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions!