Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Changeling Lost Vegas: Session Five: Bookie's Odds

The video for Session Five: 
This Episode:
The group finishes up their exploration of Sunswept Ranch. But first they have to torment their new NPC, Teodoro, more than a little. Following that they finally reach the hidden hollow, only to discover a house made of glass. Andi breaks off from the group, only to be attacked by a massive venomous crystal snake. The group converges and beats the hedge beast into splinters. They discover a second notebook page and another tarot card. Finally they return and report in to Simon Maggots, who agrees to take them on as caretakers of the facility.

As an added bonus, because I forgot to uncheck my video box so you have to watch the GM exclusively for most of the recording. The horror!

Useful GM Trick
I can't recall exactly where I heard this years ago. One thing I know is that my players are often smarter and more creative than I am. They're engaged in the scene from their perspective, where I'm trying to juggle details, mechanics, and narration. I set the stage and let them run with it. A really common player question pops up in many variations: "Is there an X?" where X is some setting detail they want to interact with. My response to this is almost always, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" as in the following example:

Scott: "OK, is there a chandelier in this ballroom I can swing across from?"
Me: "I'm sorry, what did you say?"
Scott: "So there's this chandelier and I go to swing across with it."
Me: "Make a roll to swing."

This is probably less important in some games, like FATE, where there's a currency for interacting with the environment. But for games like GURPS or World of Darkness, it is a nice way to quicken the pace and to allow players easy narrative power. I expect many GMs already do this, but if you haven't you should consider trying it. It is a little change that adds much to the game. More importantly, it makes your job as a GM easier- tricks I'm always hunting for.

I've rarely seen players abuse this, they get the limits pretty quickly. And they come up with stuff I would have never thought of. Plus, you can always use some version of "Yes, but..." if they do get goofy