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d6 Evil Men

encouraging narrative input from players

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Hi all,

 

I like the point spend system of Gumshoe and it inspired me to try a new thing with my group last time we played and I thought I'd share it with you. The party was about to enter a trading post-fortress that they knew almost nothing about beforehand. Besides main plot points I left the details very vague and decided that I would try to encourage my players to make the place come alive.

 

What I did was I gave each of them two tokens and told them they could play these at any time outside of combat. Playing a token would earn them the right to narrate almost anything into to the scene. I told them I wanted their input to make the place more interesting and intimate and they could use a token to narrate an NPC, a location, a custom etc. within the trading post (within reason naturally and I had veto rights). Playing a token would also net them an extra 20 XP for good roleplaying (we are playing 2nd edition).

 

It worked rather well. For example, right as the PCs came to the gates one of them chose to make the gatekeeper an old warbuddy. Suddenly, they got an easy, and free, access and a contact in the city. In another instance a player narrated a cool history for a Dwarf made window that served no other purpose but to add to the character of the place. Of course, some players took to it more than others but no one tried to abuse the system. I probably don't make a recurring thing but it suited a single, closed location rather well and served as an interesting change of pace. 3rd edition dice probably offer more options to this sort of thing.

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Sounds like a lot of fun!

I think that in the rules of WFRP 3ed it  suggests that players can use fortune points for narrative purposes. But players seldom seem to do it. Maybe it would be better to have narration tokens as well to encourage it.

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It's funny. When WFRP first came out, and in the original Day Late and a Shilling Short adventure, the use of fortune points I add narrative input was emphasized. However, as time went on, later supplements didn't mention this at all. I don't even think the players guide mentions using fortune points to make narrative declarations. However, it's technically within the purview of the rules. I believe that the specific intent is that when a player asks the GM if some narrative advantage exists (does the dead coachman have a loaded blunderbuss, is there a chandelier I can swing in nearby), the GM can allow it for a fortune point. Interestingly, this use of fortune points came back in the edge of the empire system with the use of destiny points to make narrative declarations. I think this came from seeing how popular Fate Core was (which came out after WFRP) and it's use of narrative points.

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Hm, that's a pretty good idea. I had completely glossed over that function of fortune points. I like the OPs idea of rewarding the use of them. Although handing out XP for it in WFRP3 would be way too much.

 

How about this: If you use a fortune point for a narrative input, the fortune token goes into the party-sheet pool. So you speed up the rate at which the party gets new fortune points.

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I am lucky in my players but do get annoyed when they slip into boardgame mode.

 

I have let them spend FP's to modify scenes, "is there a torch here" ('cause the cool move i want to make needs one), for FP yes there is.  But they really don't remember the option etc.

 

So yes something like they become party points if you spend them narratively - perhaps if you then succeed on something or if yo spend them "creating trouble" for yourself (like compels in Fate)

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I am lucky in my players but do get annoyed when they slip into boardgame mode.

 

I have let them spend FP's to modify scenes, "is there a torch here" ('cause the cool move i want to make needs one), for FP yes there is.  But they really don't remember the option etc.

 

So yes something like they become party points if you spend them narratively - perhaps if you then succeed on something or if yo spend them "creating trouble" for yourself (like compels in Fate)

Are you making a point to offer the opportunity to your players? "Well, this crate just has embroidered carpets in it, although it MAY have some smuggled rifles inside of it *looks meaningfully at fortune points*."

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The core uses (fortune die or recharge speeding) are on page 18 of the Player's Guide, with guide to awarding them page 20.

 

The GM Toolkit page 38 has the optional rule for narrative control using FPs, e.g., having the blunderbuss you find on the corpse still be loaded.

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