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GM facing some inadvertant illusionism from player

Started by Callan S., April 04, 2005, 08:06:14 PM

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Callan S.

Recently in a PBP game I'm running, I used the old 'Okay, now you the player decide what happens if you fail the roll' by posting the following.
QuoteWhat sort of incorrect idea would he come up with? I'm interested in what you'd set as the stakes for failure, since I'm the GM and can't be as harsh to a PC as his own player can, in defining how much of an error PC ends up making. If you create it, it's going to be more interesting than anything I create.
This got the rather interesting responce
QuoteOOC:  Well this would be damn brutal, but what if Brian gets the idea that all he needs to do is open the crate in the middle of the circles and the AI will go balistic on the bad guys.  This could lead Brian into a bad scene.  He walks into the middle of the big summoning room and throws open the chest, nothing happens.  The cultists wonder what the hell he is doing.  This would lead to a bad case of embarrassment, close scrutiny but the cultists as best case senerio and Brian getting killed and Hideo's head being blown off as a worse scenerio.
To be frank, this got me a little pumped up. It wasn't what I had in mind, but was interesting to me. Because cool, now I don't know everything that's going on (when I do know all I have far less exploration available to me). And if he passed, it's still exciting, because even though it didn't happen, the possibility it could have is still part of the game we as players all know.

I respond thusly
QuoteOkay, that's the stake!! If you pass, you'll learn a lot more about the chest and it's relation to the summoning. If you loose, that potential for brutal conflict will happen and who knows what hell might break loose!! I'm going to assume that if you fail, you'd still wait till Hideo's collar is off to go do this(which would mean very few days left till the summoning happens), because it'd be safest.

Now, for tension, I want you to do the dice roll on the dice roller here, then make a quick post of your result here as well.

So I start kicking myself for not using this technique way earlier as I wait for the responce the next day. Kicking myself since this has gotten me excited/drawn me (as GM) to the action more than...I'll be honest...anything previously in the game. But we hit some speed bumps.

The first is where the player declares he's passed.
QuoteOOC: Whoo whoo, rolled a 24 (see dice log) needed 35 or less.

IC:  Brian studies the chest carefully for several days as he continues to work on removing the collar from Hideo's neck.  Finally he has a moment of enlightenment.  He thinks he has learned something important with regards to how the chest relates to the cult and the summoning.  Perhaps a way to finish this and live to tell the tale.
And I get a buzz from that, like watching someone run across thin ice and not fall in.

I check the dice log, because it's like seeing the moment recorded. The 24 is actually from a dice roll about two weeks ago, not a recently made one. This roll was for another task entirely. So I PM him, asking if perhaps he entered in the roll but it didn't go through somehow and he missread the last logged roll as his passing roll.

So he says he'll try again. He does a string of practice rolls (which is fine). And then does four skill rolls. Two were magic lore (the most appropriate) with the first failing and the second passing. The other two were for other similar skills.

I'll quote the PM's.
Quote from: PlayerI tried a string of practice rolls then typed Magic Lore 1 for the 1st roll (48, missed by only a few % points).  The the 2nd try rolled a 3 (if there is something to learn, he should know it from that attempt).  He got nothing from religion or demon lore, but that is not suprising since magic lore seems most appropriate.

Hope this helps.

Quote from: IHow much did you miss by on that roll? Your character sheet has 35 in magic lore. Is that skills percentage up to date?

I'm not sure about using the second magic lore roll to any effect. With the communication rift the stake was the amount of time it would take. For this roll the stake was what event comes up. If we roll until you pass, it's sort of the flip side of when GM's ask players to keep rolling until they fail.

I hope I wasn't too harsh in saying that.

The main reason I'm logging all this is because I got joy, and then the steady, cold force techniques of illusionism came and started squeezing the throat of that joy...for me, the GM. Of course the big model doesn't differentiate player from GM, but I think it's interesting to demonstrate how the GM position is not as invulnerable to illusionism as is often thought.

On another point, it's interesting that in distributing GM power, I think perhaps that the illusionist GM'ing habits of the player came to the fore. Possibly a strong dissinsentive for most traditionalist GM's to return any GM power to players. Something to think about next time you see a "I tried one of them wack Forge games and it just went loopy! Give me the old ways any day!" thread.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure I can clear this up. But that wont fully return that feeling I had.
Philosopher Gamer