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Tell me of awesome moments and how we can get them.

Levi

Slayer Of Spambots.
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
So, you've had roleplaying experiences. And some of them rocked, without question.

If you're willing, tell us:

1. About one of them.

2. Why it rocked.

3. The hard part - how you think we might be able to get the same cool stuff.
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
Levi Kornelsen said:
So, you've had roleplaying experiences. And some of them rocked, without question.

If you're willing, tell us:

1. About one of them.

2. Why it rocked.

3. The hard part - how you think we might be able to get the same cool stuff.
Wow, that #3 can be rough.

Let this marinate in my head for a bit and I will certainly get back to this thread in a bit.
 

Voidnaut

Carcinogeneticist
Validated User
You can't really make the awesome happen, it just does. But what helps it to have a wide toolkit; lots of NPCs with their own motives, lots of stuff going on. I find the awesomest moments in my game are when either the GM or Players recombine the elements of the plot in an unexpected or unplanned-for way.

-Voidnaut
 

Gargoyle1981

New member
Banned
The best moment was when I simply let my player characters get away with one of their plans and it indeed was in fact awesome. Just drop a seed and they'll know how to use it usually.

The players managed to find one of the enemy's planet destroying missiles and they used it against them....but not before luring the enemies entire fleet back to their homeworld to do it.

Simple, obvious, and made the player's galactic heroes.
 

Starbrat

Registered User
Validated User
#3's easy, in a manner of speaking. Just keep playing. RPGs are strange things, full of random twists and turns. Getting the awesome moment can't really be planned, it's more an "infinite monkeys and typewriters" thing.
 

Kilgs

Grand Poombah
Validated User
1. Vampire campaign. Lukewarm roleplaying group. Sabbat Crusade campaign. I spent a ridiculous amount of time putting together introductory information, gossip sheets and other things for them. They spent the first three or four sessions in character just discussing their plans. Was unbelievable. And the session that one of them brought a Visio flowchart to explain all the interactions between residents, information gathered and possible avenues for espionage just blew me away!

2. Why? Can you believe that I got these guys so into the game that they spent time at work comparing information and coming up with schemes. There were phone calls back and forth, emails, file transfer... everything. It was the crowning moment of GMing. Some of them had never played an RPG since 6th grade and the rest had never played Vampire.

3. How? I think the key was getting them as excited as humanly possible about the theme. I picked a Sabbat Crusade because it was something wicked cool and easy to immerse people in. I figured they'd pick up the Sabbat nuance's later in time. How did I do it?
-Campaign started at an isolated farm where the characters were released from a ritual amnesia. They had been sent into the city over the course of the last five years as moles. Unaware of being Sabbat. So they were known to the power structures and Prince. Each of them had a sphere they were inserted into.
-I printed up an Excel sheet with all NPC Vampires, Notable Human NPC's, factions, gangs etc... then I populated the information that every character would have gathered. So each of them had different pieces of information, some it conflicted, some of it was just plain wrong. That gave them the background that they needed to "insert" themselves into the game. The "Social" expert was arguing about whether or not the Toreadors actually would associate with the Anarchs and so on.
-I pumped them full of ideas and let them run with them. I didn't slow them down. One of them wanted to start out next to the Prince, sure... fleshcrafted replacement for the consigliere's childe. Would that work under mechanics? Who cares? It was incredibly cool and the resulting game of dual identities was tons of fun for the character and me to RP.
-I made sure it was what they wanted. We saw Underworld and one of them knew I had all the Vampire books and said "Thats the kind of Vampire game that would kick ass!!" So I ran with it. Throw out the Camarilla BS, these guys wanted to get rough!

If I had to point to generality...

1. Engage your players even before the game starts. Handouts, neat things about their character, secrets or even backgrounds.

2. Make sure this is the kind of game that they want to play and not yours.

3. Never throw out a cool idea if it seems too unfeasible according to the game.

(And yes, I feel like I reached a plateau in that game. Its sad... could be the greatest game I ever ran.)
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
1: Star Wars d6 with no Force-using PCs. A two-fisted Corellian bodyguard (that'd be me) facing off against a Sith apprentice in the back of a stolen AT-AT full of thermal explosives being driven full-speed towards a Sith temple by the bodyguard's Rebel smuggler employer.

2: I took that sumbitch down. Specifically, I bull-rushed him out of the open loading door, grabbed the ledge and dragged myself in.

Then as he Force-jumped back towards the door, fellow player Ian's sneaky Twi'Lek activated the thermal detonator he'd snuck into his robe while he was whaling on me.

3: In order:

Foreshadowing the Big Bad, building him up to the point I expected to be able to hold him off but maybe not survive it.

Setting the final confrontation in an interesting location (basically an open-sided train car running unevenly at forty miles an hour, thirty feet off the ground, full of things that will go boom if I shoot at the guy).

Letting me do what the character was designed for - brawl inventively.

Letting Ian's character do what he was designed for - sneak attack.

Timing.
 

Voidnaut

Carcinogeneticist
Validated User
Craig Oxbrow said:
1: Star Wars d6 with no Force-using PCs. A two-fisted Corellian bodyguard (that'd be me) facing off against a Sith apprentice in the back of a stolen AT-AT full of thermal explosives being driven full-speed towards a Sith temple by the bodyguard's Rebel smuggler employer.

2: I took that sumbitch down. Specifically, I bull-rushed him out of the open loading door, grabbed the ledge and dragged myself in.

Then as he Force-jumped back towards the door, fellow player Ian's sneaky Twi'Lek activated the thermal detonator he'd snuck into his robe while he was whaling on me.

3: In order:

Foreshadowing the Big Bad, building him up to the point I expected to be able to hold him off but maybe not survive it.

Setting the final confrontation in an interesting location (basically an open-sided train car running unevenly at forty miles an hour, thirty feet off the ground, full of things that will go boom if I shoot at the guy).

Letting me do what the character was designed for - brawl inventively.

Letting Ian's character do what he was designed for - sneak attack.

Timing.
It's... it's so beautiful. *sheds a single tear*

-Voidnaut
 

damion4242

Play Go!
Levi Kornelsen said:
3. The hard part - how you think we might be able to get the same cool stuff.
Somewhat related to this:

As anyone ever specificly tried to replicate cool and had it work?.
 

Vaecrius

Why marigolds are so evil
1. D&D, homebrew setting. The GM and I were playing a "prelude" before my character joined the rest of the PCs. I came up with a dirt-simple Kicker: my PC, a run-of-the-mill level one Chaotic Not-Evil adventurer, was following up on rumours of an ancient artifact buried near a coastal town. The session literally started at the beginning of my character's day, with a bit of very nicely surreal scenery-chewing on the GM's part before we went onto the buried artifact itself.

Again, great scenery stuff once we got to the evil fire god's underground temple. Turns out the artifact is a powerful demonic weapon that the GM designed specifically to counteract my character's really crappy stats. XD Of course, the power came at a price, which was made apparent when the weapon possessed my PC and blew up a couple settlements. At that point, I asked where the rest of the PCs were, I'm having my character flee the country before any sign of retribution and take the first boat THERE.

2. I'll split this one up into colour, protagonization, and metagame.

Colour: The GM started off the session brilliantly. The grimy room in the inn with its yellowed windows, the bizarro giant crabs down on the beach below the rocks, the nervous young waiter with the halitosis, the strange city I found on the other side of the sea,... it all clicked together vividly in my head.

Protagonization: This was one of the few games where my PC ended up taking the spotlight and I had some clear idea what to do with it. The moment the weapon was bound to my PC (in retrospect it worked out curiously similar to what you'd expect in Sorcerer), it became pretty clear what my character's story should be about. Unfortunately the later sessions didn't quite work out that way, but it certainly was a learning experience to see what a great setup at least was. The GM subsequently threw in a benevolent deus ex machina NPC who offered to get rid of the weapon, which drove home the impact of my character's keeping the weapon as a choice rather than a railroading tool.

Metagame: It was very clear that session between me and the GM what was going on, who could control what, and where exactly we were supposed to be in conflict (inasmuch as our intents and preparations differed) to drive the story along. I suspect it was the breakdown of this that caused the later sessions to drag a bit (the GM wanted to give us total freedom, like we would have in a MMORPG: not a good idea.) Now if only I can figure out how to get a dynamic like this going again in the game I'm running...

EDIT: Oops, forgot 3! ^^;

Scene Descriptions: Don't try to replicate "cool", because that never works. Instead, present the scenery as just there: solid, material, similar but different than our world, similarly but differently flawed. Scenery isn't awesome just by being big and shiny, it's awesome because of what the characters and the story (inasmuch as it has parts distinct from the characters) make of it. Don't impose judgement on the scenery: that's the PCs' - and the players' - job.

Always give the player a choice: Whether or not you decide to screw them over for it, make sure everything is up to the players that isn't a reasonable direct result of another choice they've already made. You don't even need to worry about people shying away in the proper social dynamic: players are quite happy to screw their own characters over if it lets them contribute meaningfully.

Always know your bounds: The GM does not have broader powers because he's God, but because some things - setting, NPC conflicts, scenes - are better handled by one person. Everything else is much better served the closer the bargaining positions between GM and player are.

Never weigh cause and effect without metgaming: The GM and I took active steps to be on the same page as each other. This is one of the really great things about being able to influence your PC's environment as a player: if there's no IC reason to do something interesting to move the plot, all you have to do is say that something happens to give yourself a reason, and any GM worth his salt would be able to roll with it, albeit given some time to think up a good response.

Don't just stick with what the other guy said: By the end of that session my character was considerably (though by no means unrecognizably or unplayably) different from my original plan. Considerably more interesting than the bubble-thin background I had, at least. Always welcome other people's input, whether you use it or just consider it.

So, basically, what Kilgs said... except that I'd change his 2 to "Make sure this is the kind of game that they want to play and not just yours." :)
 
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