23 thoughts on “Seperate them and show signs of an approaching threat.”

  1. Good point. I’m really just brainstorming ideas for traps in a Dungeon. Most of the traps are meant to separate the party, making it easier for the inhabitants to pick the members off individually.

  2. Be careful. I did that at the end of a session recently and I ended up having to manage one character on his own for the whole duration of the next game. The players were perfectly happy doing their thing and didn’t seem to want to get back together…

    I was like, what is this, fucking Amber? ;p

  3. Kasper Brohus You could separate them all, and give them a poorly reliable way to communicate with each other. And to get back together, they each need to do something on their own. 

  4. Magi max – oooOOOOOO, that’s nasty! lol

    Eric Nieudan – now that is good horror stuff. To make it work, one could make each character write down their messages with pencil on index cards and hand them to the GM. After a little erasing to simulate the static, the recipient gets it.

    Unfortunately, the GM still has to answer questions about the scene… And the others could listen in. So either do that by card (a horror with my handwriting!) or find another way to block the others out.

    This might need some setting up but could end up in one really memorable session!

  5. I agree, Alessandro Gianni. You should leave it to the game to establish what the solution is.

    Oliver Korpilla I like the erasing words part! A solution would be to keep each player in a separate room, but then you’d be back to playing fucking Amber 😉 I think you’d have to trust the players not to act on meta knowledge.

  6. While my players are a wonderful bunch of people, they have a tendency to have lucky accidents when they remove themselves from the action through their own decisions and then happen to walk round the right corner by accident when needed – lucky, right? 😛

  7. Alessandro Gianni – sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes having them in the dark heightens the experience for everyone. Sometimes having each of them contribute to that confusion is more fun. It heavily depends on the players. (And how often you do this… Excitement has been known to wear off. 😉 )

    Last week I played Spark with a few guys. They had all liberties to create an interesting story, to fail and succeed in interesting ways. They chose to remove the challenges themselves instead by making opposed Spark rolls. This way, nothing interesting happens and the story itself stagnates.

    It isn’t their fault, though. I mean, each paradigm has a different threshold to get into, and I noticed I had overwhelmed them. Such players would not only thrive more when being kept in the dark, they would also enjoy it more. Shaping the story in interesting ways and not acting on meta information can be a sign of maturation in a players. Not saying it always is, but can be.

  8. Oliver Korpilla I get your point, and I’m inclined to agree. The difference in experience also have a difference in cost though, and this cost is what makes me favor “open secrets” where the players know, but the characters don’t.

    I’ve played in my fair share of campaigns in other games, and whenever the GM pulled one or more players into another room to maintain secrets, the other players just sat there. The cost to maintain secrets and prevent exploitation of metagame knowledge was boredom.

    With open secrets, the cost is the risk of negative exploitation. Note the emphasis on risk, because it is only that; not certain. For that matter, open secrets allows everyone to contribute to the game, by pushing at secret. The only game that I have ever been a player in DW, the Thief had a bond with the fighter about running a con on my character. I chose to have a bond with the thief that I trusted him implicitly. Obviously the con was working, and I had great confidence in him, which actually made for some fun metagame.

    It’s kind of a “risk / rewards” choice, because it only takes one bad player move to ruin all the fun for everyone under the open secrets paradigm.

  9. Yes, certainly agreement.

    I also play stuff from setting books and published adventures. There it is at any time possible for a player to read up on the same information, but they betray themselves the most (and to a degree the other players).

    Security through obscurity  it is called in programming. It is also known to work quite badly. 😉 There are settings, like Deadlands, that have a few secrets that are most fun when the players discover them in a campaign. I would certainly value any player that could still play a second such campaign and honor the player/character divide when doing it the second time.

    I once chose to play a self-written adventure set in the popular world of Aventuria. The players knew a lot about it. They had, in fact, the information advantage over me – but only from offically published books! The adventure was a completely self-contained story and module, but they always came up with setting information and insider info their characters could not know or almost not know and confused themselves with it. For me it was a story focussed on legends of the Holy Grail, and also a few elements from Wagner operas, but they saw it through their “I know this game setting!” spectacles and came out with a rather different perspective than I had expected.

    I have yet to experience that someone fully honors the player/character divide in a campaign. In horror oneshots we came close.

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