## gm techniques – How can I show-not-tell my players that they are The Bad Guys?

You know you need to signpost your actions – but something I’ve learned in my – cough – years of DMing is that often when I think I’m making something incredibly obvious, my players think I’m dropping tiny hints at best.

You mentioned you’re currently using things like letters on the dead guards and the actions of authorities. Do your players see these letters at all? Do the letters adequately explain the situation? If it’s something like this one, while it may suffice to make your players feel guilty about killing that guard, it isn’t necessarily indicative that the players are the bad guys. Likewise, if you haven’t sufficiently established the nature of the authorities or the government (likely not given the players perceive it as “unjust”), the players have no reason to assume it’s anything else.

Remember, your players are operating under typical RPG assumptions, which is that PCs are the heroes no matter what acts of criminality they get up to. Think about Link smashing pots in random people’s houses, or Cloud slaughtering dozens of ShinRa guards. The plot still frames both Link and Cloud as heroes, in part because of Gameplay and Story Segregation, which requires the game to provide challenges and loot to the players even when it’s not strictly logical; but also because that’s just how RPGs tend to work.

In other words, you’ve answered your own question: you simply need to signpost more effectively.

In particular, focus on telegraphing to the players what their actions look like to innocent people of the country, and make it at least twice as obvious as you think you need to. Have villagers run away when the party approaches, screaming for help because “those mercenaries from \$HomeCountry are here!”. Have “wanted” posters everywhere, which specifically talk about the players’ actions in terms that you’d normally see on a Disney villain’s rap sheet. Have the next batch of heroes, as you suggested, try talking to the PCs before attacking, and use language specifically describing them as bad guys, such as “Halt, \$HomeCountry soldiers! We know you have come to our nation to scout our defenses and assassinate our leaders. You have butchered our guards and allied with that most ancient of evils, a lich. Come peacefully and your deaths will be swift and painless, or stand and die like the villains you are!”

As @Mark Gardner noted in a comment and @Icyfire in an answer, it’s especially important to use signposts which the PCs have reason to trust or believe. This could be friends of the PCs who say, “Man, you guys are getting pretty scary, just slaughtering all those guards like it’s nothing…” and act generally hesitant around them; or trustworthy authority figures (if you have clerics, paladins, or similar religious characters, a priest or other religious authority can be very useful here) who comment that the PCs are useful and effective, but “if you weren’t working for me I’d have arrested you by now”.

The point here is that your players likely haven’t caught on to how they’re seen in this new country. They have no reason to believe their actions are not being ignored in typical RPG fashion – all they see is random encounters and boss fights. You need to make clear to them, repeatedly and excruciatingly from trustworthy sources, that this is not the case.

(As a side note, your players might well choose to continue as they have been, and run with their reputation as villains. Since you say you’re fine running an evil party, there’s nothing wrong with that, but at that point you’ll want to break character and have a brief “Session Zero 2.0” where you check in with the players that this is, in fact, what they want.)

## gm techniques – How can I DM with aphantasia?

Congrats on deciding to overcome the challenges associated with your condition!

Your condition, while rare, is not an automatic no-GM situation. Here is some advice for successfully world-building for your RP scenarios and campaign despite lacking the “visual mind’s eye” (please note, a lot of these will take effort):

## Collect (or Create) visual resources

1) Search engines are your friend

Use numerous image search methods with varying keywords related to what you are trying to go display. Need to describe a castle? Find images or videos of castles. The same can be done with characters, items, costumes, jewelry, and so forth.

Unsplash.com, Pexels.com, and Pixabay.com are excellent resources for various images – people, landscapes, fantasy, structures, and more… best of all all the images are CC0 images or otherwise royalty free and license free: as in free for both personal and commercial use (certain minor limitations apply to commercial use – mostly don’t claim it’s yours or make compilations of other’s works, check licenses on each site for details – but shouldn’t affect RP stuff in any way)

2) Fiverr (or similar) is also your friend, if you are willing to spend a bit

If you have a bit of cash, then you can ask artists to create what you are looking for, or modify something you found that is ‘almost’. When asking others to modify a pre-existing thing, however, be aware of copyright, license, and usage restrictions.

If you don’t, or can’t, pay someone else to do it, give your own artist’s chops a try. Even when lacking a visual mind’s eye, with the undo features of modern graphics software, you can alter (and mess up) to your heart’s content, and still undo anything you don’t like how it turned out. Just remember to save often. As a tip, save alterations under different names, so that you can go back to a specific point in time – takes more file space, but allows you more latitude in your work. GIMP, by the way, is free.

4) Bryce, Daz3D, Blender are also your friends

Daz and Blender and are free 3D software which are quite capable in their own respects. Strong communities with lots of tips, tricks, and advice support both; Blender even has a Stack Exchange site. Bryce is not free, but is usually worth the price tag – and is still considered one of the leading landscape creation tools. In conjunction with one of the other two (it already is configured to work directly with Daz) it can support buildings and characters as well. Use existing resources (lots of free stuff out there online) and build your scenes (towns, buildings, maps, you name it), or even learn to make your own resources.

5) Use Props

Always fun to have the real thing (or close approximation) handy for reference. Nothing says light saber like some red and blue giant pool noodles, duct tape, and electrical tape. Plus you get to bash each other after (or during) game for fun (and profit?).

On a more serious note, a yellowed piece of paper with the note the characters just found, a Chinese puzzle box with something rattling inside of it for the players to actually solve, a cracked chess piece with what looks like a blood stain (a bit of paint or even certain types of markers work), can do wonders to set a scene and tone to the game.

These visual collections can be used to ‘show’ what you want, can be composited to ‘create’ what you want to see and/or show, and is all around useful for both you and your players. When you find a picture that you like, decide it is a picture of the Plain of (random name) and just behind that out-thrust rock is the City of (another random name). You can show it to the players if appropriate, or simply use it for your own personal reference to aid your descriptive verbiage.

## Collect (or Create) aural resources

For those with a visual mind’s eye, a bit of background sound will help them build a scene. If your locations and/or characters have their own theme music, or associated background sounds, a bit (or a lot) of work with some music software or websites where musicians post their work freely for everyone to listen to (or spend some resources to collect music files and/or sound clips) and you can have your own SFX library at your command.

## Collect Descriptions

If you find that your aphantasia extends to preventing you from coming up with verbal descriptions of visual effects, then there are still a couple of things you can do. You can read the works of others, and collect quotes. Find bits of verse and descriptive text, make a copy and keep a portfolio of useful descriptive bits. When planning out adventures and locations, base descriptions on certain of your snippets. To keep your descriptions consistent (and unique to each location), keep notes so that you don’t overuse any particular snippets.

Also, walk around (or use Google Maps Street View for distant locations) and verbally describe to yourself what you are seeing. Write your descriptions down. Touch things (appropriately, mind you), smell things (again…), take pictures (yet again…) and listen; in other words gather sensory data, and practice putting it into words. Describing the smell of a place as rank, musty, but with just a touch of the lingering memory of fresh bread, and your non-aphantasia players will build the image without any further help from you…. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get out and see the sights, visit museums, and other places of local color.

If you can record the sounds and images of your walkabouts, this can help with your later descriptions as you (probably?) can’t pull up the visual memories of your experiences.

## “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.”

That’s something out of Raymond Chandler, one of the early pulp writers, but it might as well be Fate GMing advice. (I think it is, somewhere, but I went looking for it in Spirit of the Century and found only ninjas.)

Putting aside any issues of what happens when you use magic to murder someone (which as I understand in the Dresden Files universe is a Very Bad Thing) the deal is that your previous GM played an investigation where you tracked down a supervillain without starting any fights.

What a convenient universe that must be, where fights only start because the PCs decide to start them.

## On Combat and Character Development

Combat is not a mysterious place, not of this world, that you access through a screen transition. It’s happening in the same place everything else is happening, and people there are the same people they are outside it. All your Aspects are still present, all actions still exist (though you don’t have time and care to, like, do research or painstakingly craft something).

So if you want to use Empathy to deliver a heartfelt friendship speech that stacks a couple invokes on somebody else’s Aspect, knock yourself out. If the bad guys have some horrendous secrets they want to lever to deliver a psychological blow, they can hurl them in lieu of bullets.

It is true that combat doesn’t really lean into character expression the way more free-action events do. If you’re in combat you don’t really need to talk about how you learned to punch someone or where you learned to aim, Fight and Shoot will work at their listed numbers without, in most cases, any justification. And it’s really easy to just get drawn into smacking numbers against other numbers and forget that there are actually people doing the shooting and getting shot.

So… don’t forget that? You’re still narrating the results after all, every punch, every shot. It doesn’t hurt to ask people for a little more description than “I use Shoot on the army of vine-men” so you have something to bounce off of.

## On Player Desires

Not getting in fights isn’t the same as not starting fights, of course. There are good reasons not to start a fight and leave some other human being who hugged their kids and petted dogs and said “please” and “thank you” to bleed out in some forgotten corner of the world.

Fate pretty explicitly tells you to sit down with your players and talk them through what they expect of the campaign. Places, themes, their own characters. So while you’re doing this it’s important to talk to people about what kinds of action they expect out of the game.

Does your combat player want to be strong? To like, be the guy who catches a falling rollup door or desperately holds the rope while everybody else is dangling on a helicopter? The guy who cracks his knuckles in a hidden corner and drops the guy who was waving a gun at everybody else with one punch? Or do they want you to tell them what happens when they murder other human beings?

It’s probably a little more of the former than the latter. But at the same time, it’s important to listen to what everybody else expects from the campaign. And to raise your own ideas, about how this time around, every now and again, a man’s going to come through the door with a gun in his hand.

## gm techniques – How can I handle a player who seems to utilize skills their characters don’t have?

I am going to be honest here, first of all. This is a problem for me too, because I play with a bunch of people who are really into STEM stuff. I’ve been on both sides of the player/GM line around this issue, so as a player, I can say this: it is really hard to turn off a part of your brain that thinks about problem-solving, especially if that’s part of your job. Honestly, I would try to avoid blaming your players for thinking about what they would do if they, not their characters, were in this situation.

The way I see it, you have a couple of things you have to do here.

First, talk to the players in question. I think there might be a difference in opinion. To me, it seems like your players want to do semi-realistic stuff using OOC knowledge. You seem to want that to be justified in character (please correct me if I’m wrong).

When I was in this situation, I talked to the player in question and tried to figure out a couple of things. One, is creative problem solving a part of the game they like? Two, is it a part of the game you like? Three, you say they don’t have skills appropriate to the task. How would they (this needs to come from them, preferably after a discussion about the first two things) work it out in character? Where have they heard about the idea, tried something like it, read a schematic? This can be great for worldbuilding. My suggestion for this is that you be open to ideas from the player, but veto something if it’s all the way out of left field, like a hermit-like character who’s never been in a city coming up with a plan to build a ten-story apartment building.

A note: This discussion may take a lot of time or a little. In my first example, it took about five minutes at the end of lunch break, while the second example took about ten minutes on a video call after the session, but I have to deal with something similar in a new campaign as a GM (but can’t talk about it yet because it isn’t resolved) and it so far has been twelve email messages with no resolution. If there is a way to have the talk in person or when you can see and hear the player (video call), that would be best (it may not be possible, given COVID-19 concerns, but you need to have body language and tone of voice clues as much as possible when trying to compromise).

I would, after you talk to the player individually, also talk to the group. Ask the same questions and then you and the player together present any solution you came up with for group approval. It may be useful to talk to some players individually before or after if you don’t think they will agree.

The second thing to do is pretty much the same as the other answers. If there isn’t a logical reason for a character to make that plan work, make them roll for it or veto it. Maybe the INT-dumping barbarian actually has a really great idea once in a while (no insult meant here, I thought of the logical extreme as an example).

This is an example from one of my games where this worked. I sort-of-kind-of co-GMed back in middle school with a friend for a world we built together. One of our players, playing a noble (high INT, low WIS, and no survival skills, in a homebrew ruleset), said she wanted to make a shelter for the wilderness adventure they were on according to plans she’d drawn up before the game.

The player, call her A, had a good bit of wilderness and engineering experience but the character really didn’t. I talked to A about it between sessions (at our next break between classes), and she said she liked creative solutions, we talked to my co-GM and he was not really sure what he thought about it, then A decided that the character had read some schematics but didn’t know how to do it or whether it would work. At the next session, A rolled to see whether she could remember how to build it, then a different check to see whether it worked right (which failed, but she didn’t know that until it crashed in the middle of a long rest). Another player, who IC had helped with planning did the actual building, and they used it for a while.

As a more experienced GM, I think I would have gotten group input on the decision, since we had a couple others who played the same way. We were young though, and A and I are still friends, so I think it worked out fine.

On the other hand, this is a current example from the player side. I am in a number of campaigns right now, and as a player for a D&D 5e campaign, I am on the other side of the discussion.

For context, I’m playing a formerly secluded cleric (high WIS but INT as a dump stat) in a homebrew setting, who joined the adventurers as a favor to their patron. I’ve done a few things that are similar to your player, like last session I tried blinding a dragon (This was before the flanking thing, by about a round) by using create/destroy water to make rain in its eyes. The DM was not too happy, given that the whole group, but myself especially, is good at coming up with real-world solutions (that work but often are entirely metagaming in a way), to have to try to figure out the effects of my solution again. What he did was to come up with an immediate resolution (it blinds the dragon for a round) and then to message me to say we needed to figure out how to deal with my solutions. After the session, we decided that creative solutions are going to require both an IC justification for the knowledge to see if I have the knowledge (backstory-based, class-based, race-based, or a reason to know), as well as a roll of either a skill or an attribute to put that knowledge into place (plus anything to actually do it). I think it worked out well; he had a procedure to deal with it, and I had the ability to come up with fun solutions.

The one thing we didn’t really do is to figure out what happens if I don’t have a reason to know, which so far seems to be “find a way another party member would know” (although it didn’t come up because so far we’re in the woods a lot and I’m playing a cleric of Mielekki).

In my first example, the talking it out individually plan worked, but if it doesn’t work for you, this might be time for a mid-campaign session 0 to discuss it. Get all the players involved when you come up with a resolution or if the two of you can’t come up with anything, and try to figure out a group opinion on this kind of thing and a way to resolve them. Others may like the creative solutions, or hate them.

In the second example, I think it would have been really easy for a different GM to hurt my feelings, so I would be careful with what you say. Don’t be accusative and do try to make sure they get things they want. However, be honest when something is wrong, and make sure you agree with the solution as well. It will not be fun if you can’t live with the rule, I can say from experience.

In general, for your next campaign you might want to include in the session 0 a discussion about OOC knowledge and justifying it in game to stop this from happening again without a precedent.

## gm techniques – How should I deal with a player who wants to circumvent combat when the rest of the party wants to fight?

I’m a very new DM running a homebrew campaign for a couple of friends.

One of my players, who is by far the most experienced, plays a bard who is definitely optimised for roleplay, and that seems to be the part of the game she enjoys the most.

This is fine, of course, but lately I think it’s been derailing the rest of the party’s experience. The rest of the party is made up of players who either struggle with roleplay or have optimised their character for combat. They get tired or disengaged when the session is too roleplay-heavy, so I’ve been trying to reward any plot-progression they achieve with big, exciting combat encounters.

Then last session, as I was very clearly building up to a big encounter, I asked the Bard to roll initiative. She got upset, asking if she couldn’t try to talk her way out of things. I didn’t want her to feel strongarmed, so I let her try. A couple of lucky persuasion rolls later, and she effectively stopped the entire encounter. I understand that players messing up planned events is a natural part of being a DM, but I’m bothered by the fact that she didn’t give the other players a chance to decide for themselves whether they wanted to fight.

I don’t want this one player to feel like she’s being railroaded into certain outcomes, but I also want to give the rest of the party a chance to do what they love best –beating up some bad guys. I really want to avoid this situation in future, since it doesn’t feel fair to the rest of my players. How can I make encounters that can serve this player’s freedom to roleplay while also allowing the rest of my players to just bash some heads in?

## proof techniques – Recurrence relation for the number of “references” to two mutually recursive function

I was going through the Dynamic Programming section of Introduction to Algorithms(2nd Edition) by Cormen et. al. where I came across the following recurrence relations in the assembly line scheduling portion.

$$(1),(2),(3)$$ are three relations as shown.

$$f_{1}(j) = begin{cases} e_1+a_{1,1} &quadtext{if } j=1\ min(f_1(j-1)+a_{1,j},f_2(j-1)+t_{2,j-1}+a_{1,j})&quadtext{if} jgeq2\ end{cases}tag 1$$

Symmetrically,

$$f_{2}(j) = begin{cases} e_2+a_{2,1} &quadtext{if } j=1\ min(f_2(j-1)+a_{2,j},f_1(j-1)+t_{1,j-1}+a_{2,j})&quadtext{if} jgeq2\ end{cases}tag 2$$

(where $$e_i,a_{i,j},t_{2,j-1}$$ are constants for $$i=1,2$$ and $$j=1,2,3,…,n$$)

$$f^star=min(f_1(n)+x_1,f_2(n)+x_2)tag 3$$

The text tries to find the recurrence relation of the number of times $$f_i(j)$$ ($$i=1,2$$ and $$j=1,2,3,…,n$$) is referenced if we write a mutual recursive code for $$f_1(j)$$ and $$f_2(j)$$. Let $$r_i(j)$$ denote the number of times $$f_i(j)$$ is referenced.

They say that,

From $$(3)$$,

$$r_1(n)=r_2(n)=1.tag4$$

From $$(1)$$ and $$(2)$$,

$$r_1(j)=r_2(j)=r_1(j+1)+r_2(j+1)tag 5$$

I could not quite understand how the relations of $$(4)$$ and $$(5)$$ are obtained from the three corresponding relations.

Thought I could make out intuitively that as there is only one place where $$f_1(n)$$ and $$f_2(n)$$ are called, which is in $$f^star$$, so probably in $$(4)$$ we get the required relation.

But as I had not encountered such concept before I do not quite know how to proceed. I would be grateful if someone guides me with the mathematical prove of the derivation as well as the intuition, however I would prefer an alternative to mathematical induction as it is a mechanical cookbook method without giving much insight into the problem though (but if in case there is no other way out, then I shall appreciate mathematical induction as well provided the intuition is explained to me properly).

## proof techniques – Recurrence relation for the number of “referrences” to two mutually recursive function

I was going through the Dynamic Programming section of Introduction to Algorithms(2nd Edition) by Cormen et. al. where I came across the following recurrence relations in the assembly line scheduling portion.

$$(1),(2),(3)$$ are three relations as shown.

$$f_{1}(j) = begin{cases} e_1+a_{1,1} &quadtext{if } j=1\ min(f_1(j-1)+a_{1,j},f_2(j-1)+t_{2,j-1}+a_{1,j})&quadtext{if} jgeq2\ end{cases}tag 1$$

Symmetrically,

$$f_{2}(j) = begin{cases} e_2+a_{2,1} &quadtext{if } j=1\ min(f_2(j-1)+a_{2,j},f_1(j-1)+t_{1,j-1}+a_{2,j})&quadtext{if} jgeq2\ end{cases}tag 2$$

(where $$e_i,a_{i,j},t_{2,j-1}$$ are constants for $$i=1,2$$ and $$j=1,2,3,…,n$$)

$$f^star=min(f_1(n)+x_1,f_2(n)+x_2)tag 3$$

The text tries to find the recurrence relation of the number of times $$f_i(j)$$ ($$i=1,2$$ and $$j=1,2,3,…,n$$) is referenced if we write a mutual recursive code for $$f_1(j)$$ and $$f_2(j)$$. Let $$r_i(j)$$ denote the number of times $$f_i(j)$$ is referenced.

They say that,

From $$(3)$$,

$$r_1(n)=r_2(n)=1.tag4$$

From $$(1)$$ and $$(2)$$,

$$r_1(j)=r_2(j)=r_1(j+1)+r_2(j+1)tag 5$$

I could not quite understand how the relations of $$(4)$$ and $$(5)$$ are obtained from the three corresponding relations.

Thought I could make out intuitively that as there is only one place where $$f_1(n)$$ and $$f_2(n)$$ are called, which is in $$f^star$$, so probably in $$(4)$$ we get the required relation.

But as I had not encountered such concept before I do not quite know how to proceed. I would be grateful if someone guides me with the mathematical prove of the derivation as well as the intuition, however I would prefer an alternative to mathematical induction as it is a mechanical cookbook method without giving much insight into the problem though (but if in case there is no other way out, then I shall appreciate mathematical induction as well provided the intuition is explained to me properly).

## gm techniques – How to manage a mute PC?

I’m in a campaign with a mute PC named Kira (not played by me), and many years ago I played a mostly-mute-by-choice character of my own, named Secret. Generally, both PCs function(ed) well in the group, and their inability/unwillingness to speak never hurt the game. In fact, I feel that both characters made the game more interesting by introducing alternate RP experiences created by the lack of talking.

Communication and Character Expression
The biggest hurdle with mute characters is basic communication with other PCs. Kira keeps paper and writing utensils handy, and often pauses to scribble notes. This means she’s sometimes several steps behind the conversation when she does get her note written, but just as often, since her player says that she’s doing so, the rest of us stop to wait for her. In combat, she uses basic gestures like pointing or shaking her head.

With Secret, I made liberal use of describing gestures and facial expressions. She wouldn’t ask “What?”, she’d raise an eyebrow. She wouldn’t say, “Look over there,” she’d just nudge and point. Despite my character being largely mute, I as a player usually ended up speaking as much as, or more than, the other players.

You say your player is “good”, so he might already be prepared to do something like this. If not, it would be easy to suggest to him.

Discussions and Social Stories
Both Kira and Secret exist(ed) in roleplay/social-scene-heavy campaigns. As long as your player is willing to actually play his mute character (instead of using the character’s muteness as an excuse to not participate, in which case you should find out why he doesn’t want to play in the first place), then the character’s lack of a speaking voice will not matter much. He’ll find ways to communicate where necessary. And if he doesn’t, then that in itself becomes a roleplaying opportunity.

For example, if the PCs have to decide whether to save the barkeep or the baker, and the mute player chooses not to participate in the discussion, then it’s going to create a problem for him if the party chooses differently than he’d prefer. But if he chooses to interject with a “no no no!” gesture, or even just a skeptical look and a frown, then he can participate in the discussion just as well as the other PCs.

Large-Scale Social Scenes
How the mute character handles large-scale social scenes depends heavily on what type of character he is. Kira and Secret were both rogue/assassin types, which meant that it was expected by the other players and the GM that they would not necessarily be the ones doing the schmoozing in large-scale social scenes. That was left to the characters who’d chosen to play talkers/diplomancers. Then Kira and Secret could focus on doing things that didn’t require speaking – although the fact that they weren’t speaking didn’t mean they weren’t participating.

For example, Kira is perfectly happy – and it’s in character for her – to simply smile politely, hang around at the edges of the crowd (or hide in the rafters without being “publically” there at all), and tell the GM that she’s watching quietly for any threats or suspicious behavior. If/when she sees something, she’ll then move to take action about it (such as warning the other PCs via a note, or simply dealing with it herself). She shapes the situation through actions when necessary, rather than by talking.

Secret was more likely to at least pretend to participate in a social gathering, although she, too, usually stayed out of the spotlight. She preferred to interact mostly with the other PCs, who already understood her “language” of gestures and facial expressions. For example, she’d let the other PCs talk to the important NPC, and make quiet insight or sense motive checks on the NPC or others in the area. Then she could relay the information via subtle means, such as a headshake, raised eyebrow, or simple hand signal, to the PCs who were doing the actual talking. When Secret did need to interact with NPCs, she could get a lot of mileage out of gestures and facial expressions without ever having to say a word. She charmed more than a few NPCs with the silent-and-mysterious schtick.

You don’t say what class the mute character would be; I’m assuming something not focused on diplomacy/talking. If he’s playing something sneaky, then these methods would work just as well for him. Likewise, if he’s playing some kind of fighter type, then it’s also easy to get away with being “strong and silent”, and using skills or gestures to intimidate or otherwise influence NPCs by his physical presence rather than his words.

Working Behind the Scenes
Alternatively, and depending on how you as a GM feel about it, the player could have the character operate as more of a solo agent. For example, Kira often slips away from the group while the rest of us are talking, and handles small side matters that the rest of us may not have known about, like capturing the spy that was following us. Secret would occasionally walk away from a discussion about how to deal with a problem (such as whether to assassinate a corrupt noble), go deal with it her own way (assassinate the noble), and then return to where the other PCs were still arguing with proof of the problem being dealt with (the noble’s severed head). This type of play, in turn, provided significant meaty RP opportunities for the group as a whole, as what had been a heated discussion about the ethics of assassination became an even more heated discussion about a) the ethics of assassination, Secret, what is wrong with you; and b) crap what do we do about it now?

GMing for a Mute Character
Basically, don’t. Just run the game as you normally would. The player was the one who suggested playing a mute character; presumably this means he’s got a plan in mind for how to do so. Don’t try to accommodate his muteness – he either works around it, or you get to roleplay the ways in which it causes problems. And don’t assume that his inability to speak means he can’t play the character. Speech is not the only form of communication, and a good roleplayer can convey just as much (if not more) through other means.

TL;DR: Trust your player, don’t pander to his muteness, and remember that communication does not only mean speaking.

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