Telegraphing Threats


There’s an insidious notion flying about RPG circles that a DM should “tell their players” before the session if an insurmountable threat will appear in pursuit of a predetermined narrative. This spoiler strategy is disguised as a safety tool. But, it’s just bad practice.

There’s plenty of ways to telegraph threats while sharing the table with your players.

Sharing the Story

Like every RPG blogger, I’ve written on the railroad vs. sandbox. As with most things, the truth often lies in the middle, and we run into problems at the extremes.

If your railroading is so bad that you need to “warn” your players ahead of time, you have stolen their agency. Put down the dice and write a book. Otherwise, share the story. You are not the only player at the table.

Safety Tools

Spilling the narrative is not a safety tool. Even if it were, it would…

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