Dungeon 190 - Masquerades

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Dungeon 190
Masquerades

By Robert J Schwalb

How do your players react when you tell them their characters have been invited to the gala masked ball?

Talk about this article here.

Solid article with good advice.  I'll definitely be consulting this article for ideas when I run social ocassions.
Agreed with wrecan.  It's unfortunate that the article may be skipped over by people who know they don't have any plans to run a masquerade specifically, because the article is really brilliant for making any complex social situation to the point and manageable.  With a minimum of gymnastics, a single situation as described by this article can represent a whole adventure's worth of intrigue IMO.

The principal character "roles" are sort of analogous to combat roles (artillery, brute, skirmisher, etc), which would similarly help DMs guide NPC reactions.

The masquerade function is useful I think because the masks (owl, rat, dragon, etc) are probably a bit easier to remember than "this NPC has red hair, blue eyes, and DM's funny voice #35b."  

All around, nice work again Mr. Schwalb. Bravo, sir!
There's lots of good advice here for any kind of extended role play session heavy on social interaction. You really need to know your player's motivations and make sure you find ways to keep everyone interested. Mr. Schwalb has hit the nail on the head with this one. Excellent advice for every DM.

Where does this guy find the time? Based on the number of articles, books, and blogs he produces he must be writing 36 hours a day. Maybe he doesn't exist, maybe his name is the "Franklin W. Dixon" of the D&D world. Wink
This article is GREAT! Definitely going in my A list achieve. I myself would run it as a skill challenge.  I’d really, really like to see an entire source book devoted to skill changes of this calibre. A delve format book of skill challenges and role-play encounters would be fantastic. Come on Mr Schwalb get on it! ;> LOL!
This has probably been my favorite article printed in one of these magazines in quite a while.  Normally I only enjoy the articles with lots of crunch because there are 1000 different blogs and forums with roleplaying and adventure advice, but there's only 1 official source of mechanics: WotC.  Even so, this was very inspiring, and it sounds awesome to incorporate into a game.
My favorite part of this article is easily the "Know your Audience" section at the end.  It's hard to keep everyone happy, but this advice would probably do the trick.  Thanks!
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