Monday, June 1, 2015

Opportunity Can Be A Wonderful Consequence

Sometimes your players do things that are awesome but not necessarily good or bad. You want to have the world react to it, but there's no clear way. Maybe some people like it. Maybe others don't like it. I'd wager in any situation something like that is true, but sometimes that is more true among the PCs' allies than others. In those situations, providing opportunities for other things can be a great way for the world to react.

Big Opportunities On A Big Stage
The way this works is that the reward/punishment is not  whatever the thing the PC wants or doesn't want to happen, it is merely the opportunity for it to happen. This can take form in a number of ways, but what is boils down to is that something big - maybe good, and maybe bad - is going to hinge on a player's actions and die rolls in a coming up event and they know it.

Tension Makes Great Story
This works because it keeps the story moving. Tension makes for good story, and this looming opportunity makes tension. Will the player succeed? Will they fail? Will more get in the way after? What about before? All of the unknown can add tension to your game, and that should get the RPers in your group salivating with anticipation.

Speaking of Story
Speaking of story, this big opportunity can be a story in and of itself. If it is well known in the world, people could interfere. Even not well known and you can still work with it. This is a way to help pad out your story not with fluff but with consequence that takes things down a meaningful side path that adds to everything. Best of all, the stakes are already known.

Sometimes, It All Comes Crumbling Down
The best part though is that opportunities have the potential to fall like a stack of dominos. One opportunity leads to a decision point which leads to another decision point, and all of them have the chance to spiral off in various directions and prompt more and more spinoffs. Do it right, and you can end up with your game writing itself for the next while.

So give it a shot. Who knows, you may like what happens.

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