I am really, really jealous of all of you who are going out to see the first part of the last harry potter movie on Friday. I have been really, really dying to see this movie this week, but it looks like I am out of luck. It is going to have to wait till Xmas.
The one thing that I think I really like about this movie is that for the first time, we are going to get a cliffhanger ending! And... nobody knows when Part 1 of the movie is going to end. This curiousity, this unknown, in a world that is so familiar, really has me going.
Pondering over this film really got me thinking about how important a sense of the unknown is in role playing. If the characters know what is coming, have an opportunity to research the monsters they will fight before a session, it may really take all the fun out of the game for the players.
How can we, as Game Masters, add more elements of the unknown to our games? I have been thinking up several different ways of doing this, but the one that I keep coming back to is: Homebrewing. The more people make homebrew settings, homebrewed monsters, homebrewed items, the more exciting the game will be for the players - especially when you don't tell them about what you are homebrewing ahead of time.
I think I am experiencing that in my current campaign now. Since it is almost all a homebrew world, my player's don't really know what to expect. They aren't really sure what is going to happen next. I am not even using homebrewed creatures yet, but, by the shear fact that we are not in the standard D&D world, they aren't postivie on what is going to happen when they go into fight a room full of orcs.
So, keep your players guessing, not knowing is always more fun.