Well ain’t this a twist! Someone besides Patches has finally noticed the shifting balance between the cosmic forces of Evil and Catgirl. On the one hand, Succubus is all kinds of evil herself. She’s in the Evil Party after, and will no doubt play this situation to her advantage. On the other hand, the friendship between Succubus and Magus is long-established in the deep lore of Handbook-World. Perhaps she’ll want to help?

Plots continue to stew. But this week, I find myself stewing on the topic of player feedback. We’ve touched on the subject before, focusing on session zero questionnaires and pausing to take stock in other comics. The former is a preventive measure, surveying player opinions before the campaign has started. The idea here is to offer your buddies a chance to make their voices heard before common issues crop up. The latter technique tends to come after an oopsy at the table. Someone is unhappy with a rules call or a plot development, so you break character and swim up out of the narrative long enough go over your options as a group. There is a third way way though, and it’s one that doesn’t happen often enough. I am talking about the proactive approach.

Just last session, one of my GM pals demoed the technique expertly. He sent around a survey to all us players. It was adapted from the TTRPG Safety Toolkit over at Monte Cook Games, but it came with some interesting changes compared to the usual lines and veils approach. In the first place, it arrived a few sessions in rather than Session Zero. That might not be standard practice, but it did allow us to get a sense for the table before responding about comfort level. It also came with this bonus question: “Is there content you definitely DO want to see in the game?”

What a question! It was an open invitation to help steer the story. And unlike my own attempts at soliciting feedback, it hadn’t waited until a negative moment had gone down at the table to ask. Six sessions into the campaign, the timing couldn’t have been better. As a payer I felt as though my input mattered. A low-pressure, mid-campaign, “What do you want out of this game?” is a proactive step that any GM can take. And it seems a whole hell of a lot better than 1) the overly-critical griping that bubbles over when you never ask, or 2) the milquetoast verbal feedback that comes with an on-the-spot, “Did you guys have fun this session?”

So how about it, Handbook-World? What do you say to a group exercise for today’s discussion? Imagine your GM just asked that question: “Is there content you definitely DO want to see in the game?” What would you tell them? Give us all your best collaborative storytelling suggestions box suggestions down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Thrice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.