Day 7’s question is How can a GM make the stakes important?
I have a couple of ways I do this and it actually features in one of my demo sessions, which I run regularly at conventions.
The stakes that most players care about are their character’s survival and prosperity. In Era: Survival and Era: Hitman, I work to make prosperity a realistic goal – they might need to get lucky, but it’s certainly something they can work towards.
In Era: Silence, for example, we make it so that unless they overcome the various challenges, they will be trapped for ever – something which most people can imagine is fairly unpleasant.
In Era: The Consortium, Era: Balam and the upcoming Era: The Chosen, the stakes are much higher – the survival of their way of life depends on victory. I often find that people see that as quite nebulous, so I include some specifics for them – their entire species is about to be wiped out, or they are the only gateway back to Earth. That tends to communicate the stakes pretty concisely and compellingly!