Thursday, February 23, 2012

[RPG] What's Your Take on Surprises?

I am in the beginning stages of working on an RPG campaign, and the majority of the plot will involve something very dramatic and life-altering happening to the players.

I'm debating how to handle this particular aspect of the plot. I'm torn between "make it a big surprise" and "include the players in the process".


Surprises definitely have a place in games, and I'd be stupid not to use SOME elements of the unknown some of the time. This decision is a lot more in-depth than that. It's something that would fundamentally change the character- let's say; he sprouts wings overnight, or becomes 16 fee tall. 

But this wouldn't happen to just ONE character, EVERY character would face something huge, dramatic and honestly challenging within the first few runs of the game. 

I'm currently considering putting a "warning label" on the game before I start it. With enough up front disclosure that SOMETHING BIG would happen, maybe player agency won't be lost. 

There's always the option of letting the players help decide what happens to them, but keep it a surprise as to when or even if it actually happens. 

It's a lot to consider. 

Players: would you want to be involved, be warned, or be totally surprised? What factors might change how you feel about this sort of scenario?