The Seer Guidelines

The GM Code of Conduct is much easier to write. "Don't mess with the players". Seers are tougher. Your job is to mess with the players. But it has to be in such a way that is fun, fair, interesting and rewarding.

Main rule: Pcs go on quests, not the other way around. Toss out a "hook"to the quest. A book on a mob, a talking npc, a mysterious note, a map to a remote location. If the Pcs bite, then they're "on the quest." Feel free from that point on to "mess with the players", but only in such a way as to ensure the quest is fun, fair, interesting and rewarding. If you need to claim an entire geographic region for your quest (town invasion, for example), try to do it in such a way as no one uninterested in the quest gets slaughtered out of hand. Let the Pcs escape the area and ignore the event, if they want no part of it.

Shy away from world-building. Shy away from adding new and interesting npcs, when you could be making the old boring npcs more interesting. Keep a list of npcs you used that are still around (shopkeepers for example) and re-use them often. This "fleshes out" the npcs and makes them more (in the case of merchants, for example) than human-shaped vending machines. Take notes, so NPCs remember what they ought to remember the next time you use them.

Quests tell stories and reveal histories. Instead of telling stories about new and interesting things, tell stories about the old boring things which will make them interesting. Instead of creating a whole new town and revealing its colorful past, reveal the colorful past of a boring old town which, until your quest, was nothing but a place to bank and sell. Better yet, tell the story of a specific family in the town, or best of all specific individuals. Smaller in Scope is Better. It's better to tell the story of one individual than to tell the story of an entire family which is better than telling the story of an entire town which is better than telling the story of the entire world. Telling individuals' stories creates a sense of detail.

Design quests that can be completed with the tools you have. It's ok to ask for new and different tools to be developed, but don't even start a quest that depends on those tools being developed before you can kick it off.

Think small. Many small one-shot quests that are related will look to the players like one grand sweeping quest, and all you ever have to work on at one time is one small one-shot quest. One-shot quests can be related though common NPCs, common items (perhaps the reward in one quest is a key item in the next), characters, towns or events. You might do a one-shot with no intention of conducting a "part II" quest, but later hit on an idea that, essentially, extends the quest. Great stuff. Again, take notes.

Hide. If you don't look like an NPC, right where an npc should be, remain concealed. Don't ever play "Joe the Seer". Seers (you) are players, not characters. You can step into the role of any number of other npcs, but you can't enter the game as yourself, a player. That's just fiction-breaking weirdness.

Be cheap with the rewards. Most players already have entirely too much wealth. They don't want more: if they did, they'd be mining instead of questing. The quest itself is what they want, and all you really need to give them. Oddly colored magical trinkets that can't be crafted or bought make great rewards - players like them, and they don't upset gamebalance.

There are times when you will need to "eavesdrop" on players. Examples: To find out where the players are (and what they are doing) so that you know where to drop a hook. To see if they take the "hook" and accept the quest. To ensure the quest runs smoothly, or just to ensure that the quest is no more or less difficult that you intended for it to be. Apart from those circumstances, you should avoid dropping in on players, concealed, following them around without their knowledge, listening-in on their conversations, etc.

This is important, read it twice:

You must keep your own characters (that you play) totally seperate from your seer persona. You must not ever for any reason use your seer-powers to aid your characters in any way. Doing so is grounds for the immediate ban of your seer account as well as your normal player account. You will not be welcome on WoD ever again, for even an instant.