Steal My Idea: Dealing with Character Knowledge VS Player Knowledge

Game Master (GM): The flames of the torch dims. The oppressive darkness of the dungeon pushes in. The walls feel closer. The air is thick, making each breath a notable struggle. Holding your hand out before you, the only thing you see past your wrist is the light reflecting off your fingernails.

Darkness. Dungeon. Oppression. Got it. Now that everyone can basically only see the five-foot square they are in, what do you explain to the one party member who has the ability to see clearly in the dark? Continue reading “Steal My Idea: Dealing with Character Knowledge VS Player Knowledge”

#DnDecember 6: A moment of despair

I’m a size tiny sprite witch.
Our party is in the fifth straight hour of battling cultists in a dungeon.
I’m low on spells.
Enemy mage casts a spell.
I roll spellcraft and recognize what the spell is. It will make ice spikes rise from the ground and impale all creatures in its radius.
Myself and our damage tank (Ji-Gon) are within the spell’s radius. We’re both dangerously low on hit points.
I knew the spell required a reflex save. Take no damage on save. Full damage on failure.
I spend a hero point to act out of turn, interrupting the mage’s action for one action of my own.
I need to get us both out of the spell’s radius. I’m a 12-inch tall sprite. Ji-Gon is a size large giant in full armor. I can’t dive tackle him and get us both out.
My reflex save is better than his.
I spend my action and cast a telekinesis spell, pushing him out of the spell’s area of effect.
The spell goes off.
I grit my teeth and roll my reflex save.
I have decent saves but bonuses for my size and high dex.
I roll a 3.
That’s not good enough.
A pillar of spike impales me, pinning me to the ceiling of the cave.
Massive damage, around 20 points into the negatives.
RIP.
Ji-Gon lived, slaying that mage a few turns later.
The other mage used spell slots each day to preserve my body so they could bury me at home after they completed the quest.
It was a beautiful death. It was a sad death. It was an epic moment in the story.

#DnDecember 5: A moment of triumph

The BBEV (big bad evil villain) stands before me, one other player, and an NPC ally. All of the other players had a way to escape/hide/avoid this confrontation.

My PC friend and I decided to try and negotiate with the BBEV instead.

As one might expect, the negotiations don’t go well. He is out sass’d, but we are out classed.

The BBEV ends negotiations by one shotting our NPC friend who is well-established as being far more powerful than any of us.

PC pal decides he should attack. I disagree, saying I never liked that NPC anyway, and we could still solve this diplomatically if we don’t antagonize the antagonist.

PC pal attacks the BBEV.

BBEV turns and attacks/one shots my PC pal.

RIP PC pal.

During the attack, I roll stealth, saying I slip out the door, get in our car, and floor it.

GM “He is very powerful. His notice skill is extremely high. Are you sure you don’t want to try something else?”

Me “I love that car. Me and her are getting out of here and driving into the sunrise together.”

GM shrugs.

We both roll.

BBEV botches roll. Adding bonuses, it’s still a high number.

I roll high. With my marginal bonuses, I just cross the threshold.

I drive my Studebaker to safety, living to eventually fight the BBEV another day.

My character in that game ran on luck, distractions, and motivating other people. He was a blast and a half to play, and every “this should kill me” situation he survived just made him more fun. And he did survive the whole campaign. He was one of only two characters who started the campaign and survived it.

 

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Steal My Idea: GM Limitations, Guidelines, & Themes

Player limitations can make players more creative and willing to try something new. But the players aren’t the only ones that can benefit from limitations, guidelines, or themes. So let’s talk about those for the GM! (If you’re not sure you can make a whole campaign off an idea, make it a limited campaign, about 4-8 games. If it works, you can keep it going)

Continue reading “Steal My Idea: GM Limitations, Guidelines, & Themes”

Steal My Idea: Creativity Through Limitations

Limitation cultivates creativity. You can find different quotes like that from loads of sources regarding everything from business to art. It can also work for RPG parties. By placing some limitations on the party before character creation, you can all experience something different and fun. You can do this for a regular length campaign, or if you’re not sure how the group will react, you can try it as a campaign with a set length (perhaps 4-8 games). And if they like it, you can keep going.

Continue reading “Steal My Idea: Creativity Through Limitations”

Steal My Idea: GM Resources

As a game master, a lot of weight rests on your shoulders. You need to preplan some stories and events to give life and motivation to the world. That world needs to feel larger than the players but also needs to feel accessible. You have to have interesting and fun events happen, both expected and unexpected. You have to be able to improvise or completely alter your plans if the players do something fair but unpredictable. But if you have too little planned or have no story with your events, everything can lose its gravity and feel unfulfilling. Plus you have to come up with names for NPCs, taverns, towns, guilds, groups, religions and maybe even monsters and deities.

Continue reading “Steal My Idea: GM Resources”

Steal My Idea: Adaptability and Dropkicking Someone Off a Horse

Last week, we started discussing the importance of not erecting a wall between combat and non-combat actions as well as making non-combat actions have an impact during combat. This week, more things you as a GM (and as a player) can do to be effective in combat instead of attacking.

 

 

Generating options as both the player and GM…

Continue reading “Steal My Idea: Adaptability and Dropkicking Someone Off a Horse”

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