Impractical Applications (Introduction to Impracticality)

Friday:  The one day a week on which I spend my time outwitting my own little sources of chaos.  As a result, I’m not going to give you a long-winded rant today, or any other Saturday.  Instead, I’m going to show you how I’ve been using what I’ve been ranting about.

So, since I’ve been making such a fuss over what can be learned from PCs this week, here’s what I’ve learned from mine so far.

The Laws of Drama aren’t always enough.  Sometimes, when you dump two people who are always bickering into an unfamiliar environment, where the only ones they can depend on are each other and they have to work together to survive… they’ll still bicker.

There are always aspects to their personalities you can’t expect.  I have one player who is pulling these things out at every available opportunity.  Just the other day, I was treated to a lovely explanation of why he didn’t operate under the assumption that the object of his affection might turn on him:  He did.  He just didn’t think it would bother him enough to be worth formulating contingencies about.  The teammate he was explaining this to found it unbelievable.

People will sympathize with the oddest things.  This includes calling dead Creators from before the beginning of time that are possessing their teammates “the poor thing”, trying to initiate romances with living Creators from before the beginning of time, or deciding that a skinchanger that favors feeding on those of pure hearts might be a better leader for a tribe of barbarians than the one he replaced (most of the group disagreed, fortunately).  Of course, these are the same people who will spent a good hour or so mistrusting someone you created to be an ally and gave them no reason whatsoever to mistrust.

And there’s always the rules of confrontation:  If you expect them to talk, they’ll fight.  If you expect them to fight, they’ll talk.  If you expect them to keep their mouths shut, they’ll reveal a secret that should really get them killed.  If there’s a none of the above solution, they’ll take it, particularly when it just happens to be so symbolically appropriate you have to accept it–and they won’t even realize that’s why it works.  And just because they’ve been backed into a corner and are facing off against someone they’ve been vowing to destroy for over a year in real-time and almost as long in game-time does not mean that they won’t, against all prior precedent, try to run away.

Back to real content tomorrow!

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