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When your players move you to tears.

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During our Session Zero, I offered to the players +2 bonus experience points each session if they kept journals from their PCs' PoV. The journals also act as narrative props; they act as flight and maintenance logs should the PCs be stopped/boarded by Imperial Customs.

Tonight, the group's "hacker" stayed behind aboard a runaway capital-class 'ship to ensure that his safety override codes would affect the errant vessel's self destruct sequence instead of it plowing through a ring of densely populated orbital habitats.

The PC had been exposed to a potentially lethal dose of radiation, but even though the group had the means to keep him alive until he could be transported to a properly equipped medical facility, he chose to stay while the other PCs escaped. Otherwise, the roll to find out if his override code was successful would have been made as they all hurtled away aboard their own 'ship, this to instill tension within the scene.

In his journal, the player wrote of his justification for staying behind: the mother of a well liked NPC -an elderly woman they'd met only once, and very briefly- lives in the orbital habitats, and the PC didn't trust his codes to not be botched, didn't trust them enough to risk this one woman's life, so he stayed.

That entry brought me to tears.

Edited by Alekzanter

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I have been encouraging my players to keep character diaries since the mid '90s.

For a small xp bonus it is a great way to monitor the state of the game, character motivations, true feelings towards party members and NPCs, plus they are very entertaining, it is great to reread them years later and be reminded of situations that had been forgotten to get a laugh from them again.

It also helps that most of my group are professional editors and gaming industry writers, they take notes and email me their submissions to me before next session.

As we have several games that have been running for 10 to 20 years they get rotated every couple of years or so, a character diary helps the player get back in touch with his character and brings them up to speed with the campaign situation.

I can't recommend them enough.

Edited by SirSaiCo

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