|My RPG editor business card, the|
handmade dubstep remix version.
Does it work too well? *grin*
How can I employ the lessons learned from this situation in my game?
Give 'Em What They Want
Back when I feared psychologically scarring my daughter for life (I've since accepted my part in the inevitable scarring process regardless of my choices), I did a fair amount of reading about parenthood. Most of it spoke about common sense and trusting your gut to know what works for your child. One article that stuck with me documented a simple experiment: Set aside a day and saying yes to everything your child asks for. No permanent damage done, and you both may find some learning experiences along the way. Cake for breakfast? Yes! Go to the park? Yes! Colonize the moon? We can't, honey, but if we could do it in a day, yes! Make daddy's head explode from having a kick-ass time? YES!
|Wait. Limited Wish in 4e only grants|
a buff for one encounter? Lame.
This ties back to The Windfall Game that I mentioned in The 3 Types of Loot back in December, where a first-level party managed to recover a huge pile of money from their first adventure. That party wanted wealth, and they got it in spades. They thought it would solve many problems and let them outfit themselves much better. Unfortunately, they became the targets of thieves, and they caught the eye of high-ranking movers and shakers far before they could handle the attention and stand on their own. And that made a great campaign as they struggled with feelings of inadequacy and "this challenge is a little above our pay grade" fear while figuring out how to survive the next challenge.
|With BECMI, changing the game|
was baked into the level structure.
When your PCs master one area of your game, like defeating any combination of monsters you can throw at them in two rounds or getting filthy rich, then you have a choice. You can continue to ramp up the power level on your existing game style until something breaks, or you can change the game and challenge everyone at the table with something different. I've had luck with changing the focus of the game from a dungeon crawl to a political game in the king's court. I've noticed as the players hit the transition point between mastering the old arena and playing in the new one, they usually fumble badly as they try to figure out the new rules for their characters.
Those fumbles make solid story foundations, as your players will carry the memory of that humiliation with them until they can exact their revenge. Once they finally figure out what's happening in the power game and how the weaselly adviser to the king used them as pawns, your players are hooked on making him pay for what he did to them. They'll put all of their gaming effort toward that one goal, and when the Grand Revenge Plan finally reaches its conclusion, everyone smiles with satisfaction at a job well done and a game well run.
Feelings of satisfaction reward everybody involved for changing the game and buying into the story. Player engagement for the win!