Page 375 - Getting Dangerous

12th Dec 2013, 6:00 AM
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Getting Dangerous
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 12th Dec 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
While AJ's not quite there yet in this session, an exceptionally clever player can take control of the game and get the DM to do what they want from time to time, rather than the reverse. It manifests in several ways, but the most common I've seen (and used) is when an opportunity arises and the player blurts out, "Oh man, wouldn't it be awesome if X happened?" or "He rolled that on THAT check? I'll bet that means X." It's like DMing from the opposite side of the table, but phrased as a silly suggestion.

Sometimes that's just the banter of the game, and sometimes it's deliberate. I'll let you decide which it is the next time you hear it in your own games.

52 Comments:

Jannard 12th Dec 2013, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
An interesting reflection. Sometimes the DM will see his/her hand forced by that kind of "silly suggstions", maybe because they generate certain expectations that are to be met unless you wanna kill the players' modd. Other times, the suggestions are cool/funny/outlandish enough that you just HAVE to rol with them.
And then of course you, as a DM, can shove the suggestion up their mouths and still go in an unexpected direction... Without them noticing.
Jannard 12th Dec 2013, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
That should read "mood", not "modd". Proofread, damn me!
BBkat 12th Dec 2013, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
You do know there is an edit button right? So you can just, fix the typo rather than correcting it in another post. That's what it's for.
Jannard 14th Dec 2013, 7:49 AM edit delete reply
BBkat, that requires you to be a registered user. I wasn't a registered user. Now I am (mainly so that somebody else doesn't take away my nickname once I've posted this, heh)
Anon 12th Dec 2013, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
I've learned to stop trying to do this, even accidentally. The results were never pretty. (Mind you, it was never out of GM malice, just that of the random number gods.)

First example: GURPS Supers campaign, we're operating in a brushfire war where both sides are getting some very unpleasant help from outside. Our team lead had the trait Murder Addiction. (Yes, that kind of player.) He meets his quota one night by ambushing a trio of people in an alley next to a local restaurant. I remark, "Knowing our luck, that was the UN negotiator's party". Guess what?

Second example: space campaign. One of our players was running this one, giving our forever-GM a chance to relax and play. Don't remember much of the plot, which should tell you something about how well it was run; the one thing I do remember was commenting after a particularly nasty hit in space combat if we should roll the crit table to see what just happened.

Result: Power core breach. All hands lost. That was the last time I ever suggested checking a random table.
Digo 12th Dec 2013, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
I've had players guess at what I'm about to throw at them by joking about it. Luckily, even if they're right I can still throw them a curve.

One sich fight was in a long abandoned wizard's tower. One room was filled with statues made from various materials and there was lots of magical auras foating around. The sorcerer joked "Yeah, pretty sure one of these is a golem and my head is getting pounded."

He was right, but the thing was they didn't know which one was the golem. Turned out there were three of them and all were not the classical models the PCs are used to fighting. They tangled with a glass golem, a wood golem, and a calzone golem. :D
Guest 12th Dec 2013, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
a calzone golem?
probably adds a bit of fire damage
Digo 12th Dec 2013, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Fire damage made it's "skin" tougher to pierce, but it also slowed it down a good bit. :) Watter had the opposite effect, though they never thought of that.
Anon 13th Dec 2013, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
On the bright side, beating it would provide the rations for the post-victory meal.
Zontan 12th Dec 2013, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
Oh man, this happens ALL THE TIME in games I DM. I'm really good at improv and not so good at getting off my butt and preparing stuff, so generally I'll have a general direction to go, and maybe an NPC or an encounter or two.

As such, probably a good 80% of my sessions are entirely up to what the players do, and I am perfectly willing to chuck out my plans if what the players suggest sounds better. Or, more likely, is just something I didn't think of.

For example, in my last game, the PCs needed a quick way to travel through the Feywild and their guide led them to a magical portal guarded by a high-level fae - my goal was to have a social encounter where they had to convince the guard that their quest was important enough to let them leech some of the portal's energy. Instead, they hooked on the fact that the trip needed energy at all and offered to use their own energy (or that of some unwilling victim) instead, which I thought was a great idea. So I had to come up with a system for them giving away their energy to use the portal on the spot.

The system I came up with was a Wisdom check to determine how focused they were on their self, which gave them anywhere from a -10 to a +10 bonus on a table to determine what happened to them (which included instant death on a 1 and permanent insanity on a 2). Fortunately the worst they got was semi-permanent stat reductions. >.>
ZzzDJ 6th Mar 2014, 3:51 AM edit delete reply
I've once made a joke in passing that ended up making my character look REALLY bad.
We were playing a game of Aberrant (somewhat like X-men, but, not.) and were trying to recover a bunch of captured people which included powerful allies and contacts and a few NPCs we liked. We'd tracked them down to a mostly abandoned, nondescript building way outside of the city. It was guarded by high-powered automatic turrets, a few hired goons, and one guy who seemed to be just some nobody security guy.
After a few combat shenanigans, my character comes across the ordinary-seeming security guy, and I fairly quickly establish (within my character's ability to do so) that he doesn't know much, can't do much, and is ultimately a decent person. My reasoning was, if he had super-powers he would fight me... after all, we were dealing with high-end conspiracy stuff. Very much "be killed just for hearing about it" material. So, if this guy was so casual about it, and only wanted to go home to his family, surely he was truly a nobody! My character made sure he was unarmed (just in case!) and the guard gave me his keys, so I let him go.
The DM told us that he fled outside and got into his Firefly. Now, I'm not a "car person", but I was dimly aware that Firefly is a model of car... however, I'm MORE familiar with the TV show Firefly, and so I joked "wouldn't it be awesome if he got into the Firefly spaceship and flew off?" The DM agreed, and decided that his Firefly car transformed into a spaceship and flew away. The DM has since claimed that he sort of meant for something like that to happen anyway, but I'm pretty sure that he's just messing with me.
ANW 12th Dec 2013, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Well yesterday, Discord won. And Sombra lost.
"Wha-"
Be quiet you. You didn't do anything.
You was just an evil presences. That's all. All episode, you was blocked. And when you did get in, you got defeated by the same item that powered you. Talk about a bad villain.
ANW 12th Dec 2013, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Poll time:
The mane 6 has the Elements of Harmony. That's true.
But what of the more fantasy elements would they wield.
AJ: Earth
RA: Water
RD: Wind
FS: Shadow
PP: Fire (Sub Light)
TS: Light (Sub Thunder)
FanOfMostEverything 12th Dec 2013, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: Earth
Rainbow Dash: Air
Applejack: Wood
Fluttershy: Force
Twilight Sparkle: Almighty
Pinkie Pie: Cesium
Digo 12th Dec 2013, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: Aqua Rake
Rainbow: Revenge
Applejack: Blowfish
Fluttershy: Pearl Wind
Twilight: Grand Train
Pinkie Pie: Self-Destruct
MarvelousTK 12th Dec 2013, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Digo I love you have my babies
Digo 12th Dec 2013, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
Thanks! I think. Hmm, more babies? Well I suppose my daughter could use some siblings, LOL.
ANW 12th Dec 2013, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
Digo, would you mind explaining those choices, for me and everyone else who don't get it?
Tatsurou 12th Dec 2013, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
Final Fantasy style Blue Magic.
Digo 12th Dec 2013, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
What Tatsurou said. ^
Blue magic spells from Final Fantasy 6.
ANW 12th Dec 2013, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
Thank you both.
I like video games, but not a big fan of final fantasy.
I did say fantasy elements, just wasn't expecting the final type.
Bombom13 13th Dec 2013, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
Is there an initial or middle type?
Malroth 12th Dec 2013, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
Applejack: Iron
Rarity: Platinum
Fluttershy: Helium
Rainbow Dash: Fluorine
Pinkie pie: Aluminum
Twilight: Plot-onium
Anvildude 12th Dec 2013, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
Rarity: Metal
AJ: Earth
Dash: Air/Lightning
Fluttershy: Nature
Twilight: Fire/Magic
Pinkie Pie: Water?

Honestly, the Mane 6 are kinda heavily skewed towards the Material elements and planes.
sjosten 12th Dec 2013, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
AJ: Earth
RD: Fire
R: Water
FS: Wind
PP: Heart
TS: Captain Princess
Bombom13 13th Dec 2013, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
Stop releasing nuclear chaos into the atmosphere. Somebody get CAPTAIN PRINCESS over here.
MWS 12th Dec 2013, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
Chinese elements:

Wood: Fluttershy
Fire: Rainbow Dash
Earth: Applejack
Metal: Twilight Sparkle
Water: Rarity

Pinkie Pie is... something else.
Sensei Le Roof 12th Dec 2013, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Isn't there a Void concept in the Wu Xing? Er, not that I'm implying something... *cough*
D'sparil 12th Dec 2013, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Rarity, Twilight Sparkle (old) ∈ Unicorns
Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy ∈ Pegasi
Applejack, Pinkie Pie ∈ Earth Ponies
Twilight Sparkle (new) ∈ Princesses
redwings1340 12th Dec 2013, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
redwings1340
AJ - Earth
RD - Air
Flutters - Water
Rarity - Fire
Pinkie Pie - Nonbender
Twilight - The Avatar
Raxon 13th Dec 2013, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Applejack: Earth
Rarity: Fire
Rainbow Dash: Wind
Pinkie Pie: Water
Fluttershy: Heart

By your elements combined, I am Princess Twilight Sparkle!
aylatrigger 13th Dec 2013, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
aylatrigger
ooh, this is easy; I already have them as saints in a Pathfinder Pantheon...
Applejack: Earth, Trade, Family, Honor, Protection, Strength, Plant, Law, Good
Fluttershy: Animal, Purity, Charm, Earth, Plant, Rage, Purity, Neutral, Good
Pinkie Pie: Community, Charm, Song, Knowledge, Pleasure, Fate, Chaos, Good
Rainbow Dash: Air, Loyalty, Weather, Glory, Travel, Trickery, Chaos, Good
Rarity: Art, Trade, Community, Nobility, Charm, Earth, Home, Thievery, Law, Good
Twilight Sparkle: Magic, Community, Leadership, Friendship, Knowledge, Rune, Fire, Law, Good

...I have more if you want.
kriss1989 13th Dec 2013, 4:08 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
RD: Electric
AJ: Physical
Rarity: Wind
FS: Holy
Princess Twilight Sparkle: Almighty
Pinkie Pie: Nuclear!
(Yes, the was an element in older games. It was surprisingly not OP.)
Summoned Singer 12th Dec 2013, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
You Don't mess with the pre-established Pinkie Senses™
LoganAura 12th Dec 2013, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
LoganAura
Yeah, tempting fate is one of the most common ways to DM from the opposite side of the table. Especially if you make something you DON'T want so obvious that they turn away.
HappyMuffin 12th Dec 2013, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
Ok... I really need to point this out again but theres really no way pinnky can be as sure as she is about these things. Single earflop means "giant monster attack". Fine, Ponyville is attacked by giant monsters every other week.

But a combo starting with earflop could be a "beautiful rainbow" which happens whenever Dash is board, or it could be "rebirth of an Old One" which as far as I know hasn't happened unless Nightmare Moon counts. And thats only one data point.

That could easly be confused with "powerfull magic will be discovered" or "theres going to be a huge party crasher" or even "I'm gona go save the world"

In this case the combo is "earflop, eyeflutter, kneetwitch" which means "somthing bad is comming from the forest". On a map, half of ponyville borders the forest, so about half of the giant monster attacks would probably come from the forest (unless they some how pop in from Tartarus.)

So in addition to them being hard to differentiate you might be getting multiple signals and throwing in an extra earflop which means, hell I don't know, "someponey is messing with time" or "Theres a party at your place in ten minutes and you didn't prepare for it"(which probably never comes up because of the emergency ball storage)

What I'm saying is that Pinky has way too many diffrent signals and really shouldn't be able to tell the diffrences and the meanings based entirely on the information being given.

But then again, we're in a world full of magic, where the chosen heros of destiny spend most of their time around commoners and a level 1, evil barbarian can fly and fart rainbows, so what the hell am I talking about.
redwings1340 12th Dec 2013, 3:58 PM edit delete reply
redwings1340
More like, "this is Pinkie Pie," so we can't really apply logic to her.
Tatsurou 13th Dec 2013, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
My logic is that the physical signs of the Pinkie Sense are completely meaningless. She's actually fully clairvoyant, but lacks the focus to interpret her higher perceptions directly. Therefor, her body generates physical signs to explain what she senses about to happen.
mycroftxxx 13th Dec 2013, 10:11 PM edit delete reply
We live in a world with time travel AND Pinkie Pie in it. She knows all of these specific twitches because unlike Twily, she can WORK with a closed time-loop and just go back in time and give herself a completed manual based on multiple lifetimes of experience.
Robin Bobcat 12th Dec 2013, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
I have gamed with a player who TRIED to steer plot like that.. It did not work well, because he was A) less than subtle about it, B) wasn't paying attention to what was ACTUALLY going on, and C) had an unhealthy fascination with 'naked elf women'...
Zeeth 12th Dec 2013, 6:39 PM edit delete reply
GM: "'So the orcs want to negotiate their mineral rights,' says the dwarf. Grumpy knows what that means: it's dwarven slang for a property battle."
George: "And they have naked elf women, right?"
GM: "No, they don't. They have half-naked orc women. With swords and clubs."
George: "Hawt! I walk up to one of them and--"
GM: "The lead orc lifts his sword to your face as you approach. 'You gonna walk right in, huh?' He turns to the others. 'Dis big fella thinks he's just gonna give our land to da dorves!' They all growl and ready their weapons. So do the dwarves."
Other players: "Dammit, George!"
Digo 13th Dec 2013, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Live by the sword, die by the GM. :)
D'sparil 13th Dec 2013, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
By the way, did the title of this page make anyone else think Darkwing Duck?
Raxon 13th Dec 2013, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Yes. Yes it did.
D'sparil 13th Dec 2013, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
I am the terror that flaps in the night!
I am the gum that sticks to your shoe.
kriss1989 13th Dec 2013, 4:13 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
I'm that niggling little uncertainty in the back of your mind if you remembered to turn off the stove!
(Everybody throw one in here, let's see what we can get!)
ANW 13th Dec 2013, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
I'm the shadow, following you.
Gden 13th Dec 2013, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
I am... obviously out of my trademark blue smoke.
Raxon 14th Dec 2013, 12:19 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I am the fly that eludes your swatter.
I am the quicksand that swallows your pack mule.
I am the rash that you can never scratch.
aylatrigger 13th Dec 2013, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
aylatrigger
Rule 0: Don't give the GM ideas.

I usually will go along with suggestions unless I have something else planned. In fact, many campaigns I don't plan ahead just so that the PCs will make the adventure up as they go. Also because whenever I do plan they break it. Or go barhopping instead.

One campaign I let the whole group have pretty much free reign on a CE enemy NPC with 1 Int (Orc, which I have talked about before... High Priest of Baghtru, orc god of stupidity). Almost all suggestions from the group were taken for him, and many times I let the party voice out his part. The party liked his character too much to manipulate it for their own benefit.

I frequently let players add gods to the pantheon, so I have had gods which are players, a player's water bottle, and various other things.
aylatrigger 13th Dec 2013, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
aylatrigger
Oh, and in one oneshot Snowball game, I did this with the players instead of the GM. You can roll three things in the game in response to declaring an intention: Monologue of Victory (at least one die rolls a 1)-you achieve the intention and get to say how you win-, Monologue of Defeat (no dice roll a 1 but at least one rolls a 6)-you fail to achieve the intention but get to state how you lose, and when the GM controls what happens. Everyone starts with one trait of your own making up, and in conjunction with traits you have levels in you can roll extra dice.

My trait was Eldritch Puppetmaster. As I explained, I was this in all forms- I was Eldritch and puppetmastered people, I controlled other Eldritch Abominations, and before the beginning of the plot I ran a puppet show called 'My Little Cthulhu'. Over the course of the game, I managed to convince players a few times to have their Monologues of Defeat work out the way I wanted them to.

Two of my favorite examples:
After our group had barricaded our part of the spaceship we were on and electrified the barrier, we heard the cry of a little girl on the other side. We decided we needed to clear out a vent to bring her through. Our airblade specialist cleared out the vent of fans and laser security. Then our telekinetist tried to bring the girl through...and failed. He said that maybe the girl died due to bumping her head, but I suggested that she came through fine, and then turned into an Eldritch Abomination. So that happened. And then while the party fought her, I turned into an even bigger and worse Abomination. ...They through the ex-girl at me, but I absorbed her. Eventually after a long fight they killed me twice, but it was a satisfactory fight.
The other time was when one of the players decided that our characters had been friends in the Knights Templar (he had started with Blade to the Heretic as his first trait) and that I had betrayed the Templar. He rolled a failure for that. He at first said that maybe then we were never friends, but I suggested it was not myself that had betrayed the Templar, but him. The Knights Templar were secretly a Cthulhu cult. He got the trait 'Only Sane Templar' and I got the trait 'Knights Templar', which I could use to stack with 'Eldritch Puppetmaster' for my Eldritch rolls.

...throughout the game, I manipulated practically everyone and became a true puppetmaster. I suggest if you play Snowball you do NOT let any player take an antagonist position.
kriss1989 13th Dec 2013, 4:14 PM edit delete reply
kriss1989
They actually tell any new players that join my table about Rule Zero, cause I will bite them in the ass with it. Regularly and often.