Wednesday, August 10, 2016
#RPGaDay 2016: Days 9-10
Day 9: Beyond the game, what is involved in an ideal session?
A comfortable gaming space, with enough room for everyone's character sheets, books, and dice, plus any map and minis needed. Snacks and drinks close at hand, and a bathroom nearby. But most of all, players and a GM who know the rules well, and know each other well enough to play off of each other's strengths (and weaknesses, when appropriate).
Day 10: Largest in-game surprise you have experienced?
Many years ago, I ran "Winter Holiday," a AD&D 2nd edition adventure from Polyhedron Newszine. The adventure is rather silly to start with--it's built around a parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"--so I encouraged players to embrace character ideas that would be fun to play over being optimized for combat. One of my players threw himself fully into the role of his fabulously fey elven enchanter, Fabio, who relied far more on his charming personality than his spells.
When the party opened the door to the final encounter, where the trio of NPCs responsible for all the trouble were ready and waiting for them, Fabio immediately broke out into such a florid, campy, improvised speech introducing himself and his friends, that the rest of the table fell silent just to watch how long he could keep going. When he finally wound down, I declared that, "Wow, they are completely taken by surprise by that speech! Roll initiative." I don't think any of us remember a single detail of how the fight went after that, because none of it could compare to that moment.