Techniques! Do we have a list of them?



  • edited August 2014
    Oops, mis-post. Please see previous.
  • Some people view storygaming as a trad RPG 12-step program.

  • edited August 2014
    Ok, corrections made and new techniques added, Thanks a lot David!.
  • edited August 2014
    Sometimes, spurred by an OOC emotional response or just the excitement of the moment, a player will say they want to do something they haven't really thought through. To be blunt, something stupid. And while as a good GM you don't want to step on the player's ideas, you still don't think it's a true/real/smart thing to do. In situations like this I might say:

    "Ok let me get this straight... You want to [and then I restate what they just said, emphasizing the most ludicrous parts] ...?"

    This is called the "Let Me Get This Straight" technique. It often works.

  • edited August 2014
    I see "Let Me Get This Straight" as a specific style of the more general technique of Verifying the shared fiction. And then "Assume the characters aren't morons" (a technique I rarely need to use, but it's a life-saver when I do) is a subset of "Let Me Get This Straight".

    Our technique lists have gotten pretty long, so I'm not sure which overlapping entries deserve their place, but I'll spell these out so W-Monk can pick.

    Verifying the shared fiction. This is something to do right before committing to a significant character action. The GM, the acting player, or anyone who's concerned about whether everyone's envisioning the same fiction, can request or provide a recap of what's what. The purpose is to ensure that an acting player doesn't make an important choice without all the relevant information. Such info can be about spatial logistics, relationships, or even meta concerns which find expression in the fiction, like the group's favored flavor. Note: even if no urgent decision is present, groups may wish to verify the fiction just for orientation purposes.

    This technique could also be labelled differently, as Look before you leap or something, removing the note at the end and possibly breaking it into its own entry.

    Assume the characters aren't morons. If anyone undertakes a fictional action which anyone else knows is obviously stupid, the person who spots the mistake should speak up and remind the erring player of the fictional situation. Chances are good that they've forgotten something important. Example: "I jump in the water to swim after him!" "Wait wait wait, you're wearing plate mail. If you do that you'll drown." "Oops, I forgot I'm wearing heavy stuff."

    If a group doesn't adopt "Let Me Get This Straight" for all situations of dissonance, they can still practice "Assume the characters aren't morons" for really stupid character actions.
  • Well, there's already Make questions about the fiction and a couple others that cover the ground of Verifying the shared fiction, and there's already"If you do X, Y will/might happen" to cover "Assume the characters aren't morons", which, well it's more explicit in the way you phrased. Perhaps too explicit I mean, it may hurt some people. "Let Me Get This Straight" looks like a better phrasing but also it's one that can turn into an inside joke for telling players their characters are about to do something moronic and by extension, the adjective could be applied to the players. But then again, it's quite forced, and all this is meant to be turned into an AP example in comic book format.

    Also AsIf gave me a good idea, it should be two comics, one for the players and one for the GM, narrating the same AP example but from her side and showing the different choices she could made in the same situation.
  • edited August 2014
    Yeah, it's not so much about verifying the fiction, actually LMGTS is a soft rejection, or a critique, of a proposed addition to the fiction. Its tacit intention is to remove the proposed statement from serious consideration. Subtle difference perhaps, but there it is.

  • Oh, we already have "If you do X, Y will/might happen"! Excellent, that's the best.

    In that case, if we're gonna add LMGTS, I'd emphasize the element of rejection. I can't say I'm personally fond of this technique as currently described, though. There's a sarcastic and shaming element to it that I'd only do with groups who find that humorous.
  • edited September 2014
    It's like a passive-aggressive rejection. It's intended to make you reconsider what you just said. It has a little edge to it, but it can easily be said in a humorous (or even encouraging) way. If you ignore it (which you're free to do), something stupid is probably going to happen.

    Not common but it has been pulled out on occasion. Stepping off a ship at sea while wearing platemail is a pretty good example, actually. Or casting a fireball spell in a 5'x5' room (true story!). And yeah, I probably wouldn't say it to a stranger until we had established a good rapport. But the same could be said of many techniques. It's also a good defense against a drunken player, or someone going gonzo in a serious scene.

    "Assume the characters aren't morons" sounds a Principle.
    I'd say LMGTS is a suggestive editorial technique corollary to that Principle.

  • edited September 2014
    [Post removed on the insistence of the editor.]

  • edited September 2014
  • WarriorMonk, I know your intention is to format this list of techniques as a comic book, but I'd suggest you also consider flash cards. Looking through the list, I immediately had an urge to format them that way so they could be reviewed and studied randomly without an implied hierarchy/progression.
  • Yes, there are a lot of media that could be used for different goals. By all means, use flashcards and investigate, I'm just using comics because my goal is to teach the game more easily/in less time to new players.
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