Random RPG thoughts

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Azhrei Vep
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Azhrei Vep » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:01 am

Okay, so question for everyone, based on events in a game where I was a player last night:

You've come to (what I'm pretty sure is) the end of a significant story arc. You've had a big exciting climax, a bit of recovery downtime, an informative denoument, and it's almost time to move your players on. One last thing before they go, however, (probably) because they did their damndest to make friends and resolve big-picture problems rather than focus on short-term gains. You decide to give them a bit of a reward.

For reasons that make perfect sense in context (trust me), four adorable creatures choose to bond with each of your four players, and with them comes some mechanical advantages. No downsides. Pure advantage, of a variety they can't pick up after character creation, giving each player the option to further pursue more diversity of ability than they had before ... or not, and just have a cute thing with a small bonus they never need to improve.

Two characters are into it. One character is super into it. One character is chill and eager to toy with the cute critter until the bond and its mechanical advantages manifest, and then immediately and vehemently rejects it, turning to more knowledgeable characters desperately seeking a way to get rid of the thing.

How do you react? Is this a problem? If it is, how would you ultimately seek to resolve it?

Now, off to cross-post this to every other RPG board and Discord I'm in, because I'm really curious how people will respond, and how much it'll vary by community.
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Leoff
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Leoff » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:58 am

As a pet owner and not dog lover I empathise with this! This is such a real situation.
Can the character or permanently loan the creature to an NPC they have close ties with, in exchange for advantages etc that they can deal with better? For further training, say. And meanwhile, hey, look, that little gillsniker there really has taken a shine to you. What does a gillsniker do? Oh, they're trained to ***, and as long as it's with you, it boosts your ***.

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Lord Foul
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Lord Foul » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:27 am

How would I react? With surprise, most likely, as from your description there was no warning this rejection was coming. Then I'd want to find out from the player concerned whether this is a piece of character development they want to play out in-game, or whether they as a player are just against the whole idea and want it to stop as soon as possible.

Depending on the answer to that question, I'd either look for ways to wrap this new strand into the next story arc, aiming to make the finding of a way out challenging for the character but ultimately achievable, and with some cost but also some other associated reward (likely predicated on the character's strong desire for free will and not to be bonded with any other being), or I'd simply allow the rejection as a matter of free will and find an alternative reward on the spot (again linked to the free will aspect).

So, is it a problem? I'd say not, as either way there is an easy solution to be found.
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Azhrei Vep
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Azhrei Vep » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:55 am

Leoff wrote:As a pet owner and not dog lover I empathise with this! This is such a real situation.
Can the character or permanently loan the creature to an NPC they have close ties with, in exchange for advantages etc that they can deal with better? For further training, say. And meanwhile, hey, look, that little gillsniker there really has taken a shine to you. What does a gillsniker do? Oh, they're trained to ***, and as long as it's with you, it boosts your ***.
I think that might be possible in the setting, if someone could find a way to willingly release the creature (it's not something people even do anywhere in the canon, because they're considered so useful), because I know 'free' ones can be claimed with either their consent or enough raw power.

Lord Foul wrote:How would I react? With surprise, most likely, as from your description there was no warning this rejection was coming. Then I'd want to find out from the player concerned whether this is a piece of character development they want to play out in-game, or whether they as a player are just against the whole idea and want it to stop as soon as possible.
That's a good point right there, and one the GM didn't ultimately check on before deciding how to handle it. Afterward, players did ask, in a text channel from which I can copy and paste exact quotes!:
Player wrote:"He didn't want it bound to him. He doesn't want anything like that bound to him. It was a cute pet and he'd have loved it forever, until it was a [Creature]. Then it needed to go the hell away."
I read that as being a clear "in-character' thing, but other places I've been having the discussion have taken it different ways, so who knows? Aside from the player, of course.

Lord Foul wrote:Depending on the answer to that question, I'd either look for ways to wrap this new strand into the next story arc, aiming to make the finding of a way out challenging for the character but ultimately achievable, and with some cost but also some other associated reward (likely predicated on the character's strong desire for free will and not to be bonded with any other being),
Based on my reading of the player's response, that's how I'd have looked to handle it too. Maybe with fingers crossed behind my back in hopes that by the time he got to the point where he could cut himself free of it, he'd have grown fond enough to reconsider at the last moment ... but if not, well, he gets his freedom.

If I believed it was a player issue, however...
Lord Foul wrote:or I'd simply allow the rejection as a matter of free will and find an alternative reward on the spot (again linked to the free will aspect).
This. Totally agree.
Last edited by Azhrei Vep on Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lord Foul
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Lord Foul » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:16 am

Did Azhrei and I just agree on something again? :shock:

You know if it happens a third time Hastur will turn up and eat us all.
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby tombombodil » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:19 am

Lord Foul wrote:Did Azhrei and I just agree on something again? :shock:

You know if it happens a third time Hastur will turn up and eat us all.


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Glenn
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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:41 am

Whenever we start gaming (either in person or online) my group wants to take their level 6 characters and run more of a sandbox pirate/sailing game. I don't know that i have the drive or the knowledge to run something like that.

I was going to start a word document and just start detailing locations on the Sea of Fallen Stars FR map. Eventually i'll have enough locations detailed that it won't matter what they choose.

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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby zircher » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:50 am

Ding! Ding! That is the road to success, world building rather than traditional 'GM dungeon prep'. You'll hit a critical mass where the NPCs and their agendas will bring the world to life and no matter which wind takes the PCs, you'll know how the world will turn and what actions/events will or won't happen around them.

I discovered that a long time ago when I was running Champions at my FLGS. There was no way I could predict who or what would come to the table. But, by having five or six villain plots and timelines running, it allowed the heroes to stomp one threat while the others advanced. The world seemed alive since this generated news and leads for the players to follow in the next session.

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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby John » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:26 am

All true Zircher. The bad guy timeline is a seriously effective and underdiscussed GMing tool. As far as I can tell it's 90% of the reason Red Hand of Doom is a cult classic module. It seems so radical to have a module driven by a bad guy timeline instead of a dungeon map but it really doesn't take that much more work to GM.

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Re: Random RPG thoughts

Postby tombombodil » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:04 pm

John wrote:All true Zircher. The bad guy timeline is a seriously effective and underdiscussed GMing tool. As far as I can tell it's 90% of the reason Red Hand of Doom is a cult classic module. It seems so radical to have a module driven by a bad guy timeline instead of a dungeon map but it really doesn't take that much more work to GM.


Yeah that is literally how I run every single one of my Call of Cthulhu games. The plot is a huge venn diagram with like 20 circles that all have multiple overlaps in the form of plot hooks, leads, parts of the mystery, people, locations etc. and each Session is an arbitrary time unit and by each session the plot has "advanced" to a certain point and important events will happen unless the party has managed to stop them.

This is especially doable in CoC because complete failure is an absolutely viable story outcome for the campaign, and this allows for phyrric victories, and a spectrum of outcomes.

Maybe the players stop the dead god from waking up, but the town gets destroyed in the process etc.
Last edited by tombombodil on Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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