Thursday, November 1, 2012

...and everyone dies and world ends

One thing I try to figure out in Raggi's adventures is why there are some incidents, random rolls or triggers what either kill characters without any change to survive or destroys the game world/setting/whole goddamn rpg universe.

I don't know the truth and design philosophy behind these things, but here's some thoughts of mine.

Who uses these things?

Let's say that something happens in the adventure and Referee reads that that's the end of everything. Game over. Start again (well, if Raggi didn't say that's it for good). Or there's a random encounter roll what's only purpose is to kill characters right away. How many Referees response to these incidences saying "okay" and putting their rpg books away continuing the evening with Monopoly. Or how many players would think "that was frikkin' awesome"?

I think most of the player groups just ignore these effects. Most of the players. Some might find humor in these. "Lol this adventure ends now because you rolled result 8 from the encounter party" or "uh why did you do that guys, now the setting world is destroyed... forever! That was awesome!"


Are these some kind of (inside) jokes that Raggi doesn't think anyone will use but puts those things in his books just for laughs? Or is it some kind of homage for real oldschool adventures where this kind of things possibly happened back then (I don't know)? Or is it just to annoy people or boost some kind of "I am baddest mofo Referee out there"?

Oh, and what about painting your nose yellow because of meta game laughing? Share me some pictures around the gaming table where this really happened.

New Possibilities?

If character dies you can create another one right? But if character dies without a reason it is annoying. But could there be a possibility? Character is now ghost like creature, or new character is decided to be an incarnation of old with some quirks, advantages and disadvantages? This is up to Referee what he can make out of the situation.

And if whole party dies or world is destroyed Referee could take totally different direction for the rest of the campaign. Afterlife adventures characters trying to get back to life or even timetravelling when worlds collapse to prevent the apocalypse.

If Referee doesn't ignore these happenings and doesn't take those too literally he can continue adventure with a twist.

What Do You Do?

Have you played Raggi's adventure where character or party randomly died or setting was destroyed? How did you handle it? Did you start new game or did you continue with a twist? Or did you just ignore the effect?


Anonymous said...

I think it might be a shout-out to some of the more ridiculous 1st ed dungeons and artifacts. Every recommendation I've seen for running tomb of horrors is to let 3-4 people play from a pool of a dozen high level characters who were camped out just outside the tomb, because half of them are going to get killed by things doing nearly 100 damage with no saving throws. "Hey, is this thing a door?" "No, you just walked into a Sphere of Annihilation disguised as a door."

The good old Sphere of Annihilation, as well as other items with extra dimensional magical properties, allowed for all sorts of bizarre world ending catastrophe brought about by someone who couldn't stop fiddling with something.

Unknown said...

My posts here go directly to my G+ feed and Raggi answered there.

Sami Koponen said...

Well, what did the man himself say? We cannot read your feeds.

My guess (and that's all, just a guess) is "new possibilities". Raggi is a postmodern artist who doesn't try to explain what he does. He just throws something on the wall and lets different gaming groups interpret that as they like.

Unknown said...

Raggi said this (I hope it's ok to copy):
">>Are these some kind of (inside) jokes that Raggi doesn't think anyone will use but puts those things in his books just for laughs?

Some. Not all.

But these sorts of things, the jokes and the serious bits, highlight the fact that there isn't a single bit of RPG material ever made that should ever be run as-is, and/or stop being so damned conservative with your material and PUSH PUSH PUSH PUSH. Which bits any individual Referee decides to not use as-is (or even scrap altogether) is up to them, but when presenting material, staid and boring is worse than bad and if fooling around with ideas that nobody else plays with, not everything is going to work and that's OK too."