praguepride
 member, 1601 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 25 Apr 2020
at 19:51
Would you want to know?
I think fundamentally you’re looking at 3 issues with springing a huge surprise like a dramatic genre twist

1) Wasted time. I know players who do TONS of background writing when it comes to a character and really invest in both the character’s background and how they fit into the game. Starting up a medieval traditional D&D game and flinging them a million years into the future? Sure that sounds cool, unless you just spent the last week coming up with super cool hooks and backstories and a family and relationships.

You know that scene in time travel tropes where the character falls to their knees and weeps about all the people they loved and all the dreams they had that were dashed? It’s that, but to the player, not the character. Congrats, you got SUPER invested in something but it turns out it was a bait and switch


2) Not everyone signed up for that. If I sign up for a D&D game, it probably means I want to play a D&D game and not Shadowrun at that moment in time. Thinking back sometimes I’d be fine with a genre twist but a lot of times I wouldn’t. I go through phases where I really want to play some Sword & Sorcery or really want to play some Firefly-esque spaceship frontier games. You REALLY risk driving more than the usual amount of players away because they just didn’t sign up for it.

3) Agency and expectations. Some people are fine letting the GM jerk them around for the purposes of story and drama some of the time, but all players do not like that lack of control all of the time. The best games, imo, are ones where the players are driving the story and the scenes just as much as the GM. Where the players get to be proactive in deciding their fates instead of just reacting to whatever the GM shotguns at them scene after scene. By springing a gigantic plot twist on the players without telling them and getting consent ahead of time is removing that agency hard. Not matter what you do, you are falling through this wobbly-wobbly-timey-wimey hole and getting flung into the future.

I’ve found when it comes to forcing choices on the players that this is best handled in a prologue or the opening narrative and not in the middle of play. Once play has fully started the players, for the most part, should feel that they are in full control.


As one last word of caution I have found that “unusual” games are the hardest to keep going. I’ve tried some out-of-the-box ideas like combining rules from Crooks and WoD to create a vampire mafia game. I am running a D&D rom/com atm as well as other outlandish idea. You can find most of them in my deleted game list because it turns out that a game built on just “WHAT A TWIST” don’t necessarily have the substance to go past that twist. I’ve had several games build up to a big climax and then it happens and nothing else about the game has a lot of appeal to anyone anymore. M. Night Shamaylan proved you need more to your media then just a big twist.
evileeyore
 member, 312 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sat 25 Apr 2020
at 21:00
Re: Would you want to know?
praguepride:
3) Agency and expectations. Some people are fine letting the GM jerk them around for the purposes of story and drama some of the time, but all players do not like that lack of control all of the time.

I want to follow up on this one... there is a difference (at least to me) between "jerking the Player around" and "jerking the Character around".  I'm fine with the later, not at all with the former.  Hence why I'm fine with "Whata twists" if I know they are coming, I've signed on for whatever gameplay, genre, rules, and Character alterations that are coming down the pike.
mox
 member, 115 posts
Sat 25 Apr 2020
at 22:01
Would you want to know?
So clearly many people are very passionate about the more extreme choices.  I can see why.  So what about the ones that don't change genres?
- Some sort of Groundhog Day scenario.
- you are superheroes, but one day wakeup to a world who has forgotten you.  Oddly, your secret base still exists.  (This is taken from a game I was lurking in)

Would the AP ones still count as genre changing?
- imagine you are not told ahead of time what you are playing (Pathfinder APs)
  Ironfang Invasion; turns into a survival/wilderness/being hunted situation
  Strange Aeons; you have no memory and start in an asylum
  Skull & Shackles; shanghaied by pirates (imagine making a paladin and the dm springs this on you)
  Jade Regent; becomes an escort mission to distant lands
  Serpent's Skull; shipwreck/survival

- ordinary, clear the dungeon fantasy game, but when you finish and come out of the dungeon a 100 years have gone by and you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic setting
- start in a city and then get teleported into the middle of Australia where EVERYTHING wants to kill you.  Admittedly some critters can't kill you, but they WANT to.
- out of the blue you find yourselves in a zombie Apocalypse.
- Many isekai anime; start with modern characters that get transported to typical fantasy world.
praguepride
 member, 1602 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 25 Apr 2020
at 23:03
Would you want to know?
APs come with player guides that warn the player what to expect. The Skulls & Shackles pirate game straight up tells the players they will spend  a lot of time in/over/under water so plan appropriately. Player’s are free to take that advice or reject it but it is now in the player’s hands. That is the purpose behind a player’s guide or a session 0 where everyone makes sure all the players are on the same page. You can make a character that doesn’t fit in but it should be a choice, not a surprise.

I recall a story on an “rpg horror site” where the player asked if they could play a half-orc and the GM said sure, no problem. Player makes character and in first session the guards immediately through them in prison and they spend the rest of session 1 being stuck in jail and being put on trial while the rest of the party does the standard “adventurers in a tavern, get a quest from mysterious bearded dude”.

It turns out in the GM’s world all orcs and half-orcs were super evil and they were automatically put in jail and executed for being evil. Obviously this is just a bad GM but the underlying point is that the PLAYER was misled. They came in expecting one experience and got something completely different.

As I said I’m running a Pathfinder rom/com game that has plenty of twists and turns but it all fits the overall theme and tone of the game. I had a player want to quit because things, in their mind, had gone really weird and poorly for the party but when I reminded them that right up front I said this was a rom/com with wacky hijinks suddenly all those “failures” made perfect sense and the player stayed on.

I was upfront with the player about the theme and tone of the game and situations that would have normally made them want to quit were r contextualized and now the player seems to be enjoying themselves.

There is a difference between plot twists and turns that fit the overall theme and tone of the game and “sucker punches”. Also themes and tones can change over time but it should be natural and organic and involve the players as opposed to a bait & switch scenario.
willvr
 member, 1108 posts
Sat 25 Apr 2020
at 23:46
Would you want to know?
I kind of want to return to the idea of character knowledge vs player knowledge. All those concepts you mentioned - groundhog day, superhero game where the world no longer remembers the superhero, the various Pathfinder APs - are all really interesting concepts, but I would want to know that that's the game I signed up for.

Skull and Shackles is a prime example - I ran this once, and the player just could not come to terms with the concept of being shanghaied. He told he, after the game had started, that his character just would not accept any kind of slavery. This is a perfect example of why twists for the player are often not great. I think it's great that some people can, and with a GM that I had gamed with for years, I could accept a lot of those, because I trust the GM knows me well enough to know what I could or could not roll with - this includes a couple of GMs met online, but for the most part, online GMs just don't know all my various idiosyncrasies well enough to know what I could deal with.

The closest I think you could get online is if you'd been GMing for a while, and picked up various players that you knew wouldn't care about a surprise, handpick those players into a game.
evileeyore
 member, 313 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 01:31
Re: Would you want to know?
mox:
So what about the ones that don't change genres?
- Some sort of Groundhog Day scenario.
- you are superheroes, but one day wakeup to a world who has forgotten you.  Oddly, your secret base still exists.  (This is taken from a game I was lurking in)

A single Groundhog Day scenario, is not a campaign.  If it it becomes a series of Groundhog Days, then yes, you've shifted genres.

I'd say the superhero one is fundamental shift in genres.  It means PCs built with webs of contacts become cut from those ties, etc.  Now if somehow such ties remain, no supe is built based on hero worship as the core power concept, etc... you could probably get away with it, but again, "You're all heroes, known, loved, feared, and suddenly you awaken to find no one remembers you ever existed, your mark on the world erased" is a campaign description.

Now if it happens 'midway' and becomes something the PCs work to set right over a handful of episodes, it's perfectly fine.  It's an upsetting scenario for some (or chance for growth), but it's overcomable, 'normalcy' can be resumed.  If it becomes a fundamental, unchangeable, feature of the setting, it isn't.


Take the comic The Wrong Earth, the very premise is a campy 60s Batman expy named Dragonflyman switches worlds with a Dark Knight expy named Dragonfly.  It's a wonderful comic, but if I sat down to play a dark and gritty Dark Knight only to switched into campy 60's world...  again, great idea if I know what to expect and what is expected of me as well.  Am I supposed to suddenly switch to campy 60's Batman?  Or are we playing out what would happen if the Dark Knight found himself in campy Gotham*?

* Which is the premise of The Wrong Earth, do-gooder, highly moral, even slightly campy Dragonflyman doesn't give up his morals because the world he finds himself in is filled with corrupt police who hate him, murderous rather than campy villains, and other shades-of-grey situations, he keeps trying to right wrongs.  Likewise, vengeful, nurdering, and rage fueled Dragonfly doesn't become soft because the world around is soft... and the world's themselves are revealed to be nuanced and have depth.

I could happily play either of those campaigns, but I would want to know in advance.

quote:
Would the AP ones still count as genre changing?

I'm not going to check each one, but Skull and Shackles calls out the very concept of being press ganged in the campaign premise.  I would cry foul if the GM was cagey about that, considering there is no reason the Players shouldn't know it before making Characters.

And what I know of Pathfinder APs in general, they are very good about being very upfront about the genre and premise.  Except Kingmaker, non-railroad my shiny metal rear...  (semi-joke, it's upfront about the premise, I just don't think the author understands what a railroad is, or he mistakes what he wrote for being "not a railroad").
praguepride
 member, 1603 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 12:20
Re: Would you want to know?
Quick aside, Kingmaker is very open ended until the last couple of books. The GM has a lot of options to even just skip book bosses if they want. At least half the content in each books is unrelated to the plot and except for maybe Skulls z& Shackles it is the closest to a sandbox.

Compare that to other APs where they just tell you to go a -> b -> c. Now it isn’t as open as things like  B2 - Keep on the Borderlands but it comes close, imo.
Gaffer
 member, 1621 posts
 Ocoee FL
 45 yrs of RPGs
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 12:34
Re: Would you want to know?
I have signed up for a con event thinking it would go one way and have the GM twist it around so the genre/setting/plot went completely different and enjoyed it a lot. If I knew and trusted the GM, I'd do this in a weekly f2f game and have a great time with my friends.

In this PbP setting, I would be peeved if the genre suddenly changed radically and I might or might not stick around, though I'd give it a fair try, unless it really offended me in some way. Say, if I thought I was going to play a police procedural and it suddenly veered into a Saw-like splatter puzzle.

As someone said above, here we're talking a commitment of months, maybe years. Still, there are a few GMs here I would trust enough to give it a try.
Lauriebear
 member, 53 posts
 There is no truth. There
 is only perception
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 12:42
Would you want to know?
I would want to know myself.

I am a huge fan of historical RP (doesn’t have to be to the letter correct) and I enjoy fantasy so if I joined a game  that advertised this then went into a Sci-Fi alien fighting space game I’d just leave and feel the GM lied in the ad.

If there was a “hint” of a twist coming but no mention it’d be a gene change I’d still be wary of it.

If the hint said a gene change was imminent I’d probably ask to what.

I am sure there are a ton of players who would love that sort of thing but for me nah, I’d say at least let them know a twist is coming, if a gene switch at least say that even if you don’t want to give away what that switch is.

Something I did in my game was tell players right off the bat the side that was going to “lose” it is a freeform style game but I didn’t want people coming into the game as one fraction thinking they “could win” - hard to explain it all, just felt I didn’t want to hide anything from a potential player.
evileeyore
 member, 314 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 12:54
Re: Would you want to know?
praguepride:
Quick aside, Kingmaker is very open ended until the last couple of books.

Granted, it's predominantly a 'hex crawl', but even so there are rails, or maybe "well worn paths" the PCs are supposed to follow.  I mean, it's an AP, I get it... I'm just poking the author for patting himself on the back in Book 1's foreword for breaking away from the rails.
Egleris
 member, 183 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 12:55
Re: Would you want to know?

I just want to say that I agree with the general idea that the players need to know about any seriously huge campaign-defining twist beforehand; while I'm the type who'll generally roll with it, it's rarely pleasant, and I would never fault a player for leaving because of it (so long as they were polite about it).

Note that this is different from a twist; something like "you thought you were saving the kingdom and the princess, but the princess was the villain all along and now you're outlaws for the actions she manipulated you into taking!" can really change the actions the characters in the campaign can take (since now the environment will react to them as "dangerous criminals" instead of "heroes in the service of the kingdom"), but it's not hampering the player's ability to make informed decisions, which is the important part here.

If a GM wants to run a "fantasy heroes transported to a Star Trek-like setting", that's an interesting setup, but it'd be best to have the players aware of this fact, and that they'll need to create characters who need to be surprised by this. A lot of players would likely enjoy playing the "fish out of water" situation, once they knew that's what the GM wanted to run; but it needs to be a players' decision, springing it on them is no different than constricting the players' actions in any other way would be.

In my opinion, the core of running a RPG is that of giving the players the ability to make informed decisions on the fate of their characters. The less informed the decision, the more hampered the ability of the players to make decision, the less the experience lines up with "playing a game" rather than "reading a story". There's nothing wrong with writing a story, and even with having other people help write that story, but then those people need to be told that's what they'll be doing, rather than playing a game. Otherwise it's just tricking people into something other than what they signed up for, and to fault somebody for being upset that they were tricked into something they didn't want to do is hardly fair.

Essentially: if a GM can't trust their players to have their characters react appropriately, why would they trust them to react appropriately to anything else in the game? The essence of running an RPG is that players and GM are playing together, and one can't really play together with other people while lying to them on what game they're going to be playing. So... I guess I really don't understand why anybody would want to hide this kind of thing from their players in the first place - I truly can't see any upsides to doing so at all.
Lauriebear
 member, 54 posts
 There is no truth. There
 is only perception
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 13:47
Re: Would you want to know?
In reply to Egleris (msg # 41):

Well you really said what I was trying to before.  I loved how you described “fish out of water” but with full knowledge that this is what would eventually take place.

I also want to sign up for that game....princess turned villain and the hero becomes the outlaw...very interesting!
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 250 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 14:16
Re: Would you want to know?
It seems that a lot of the basis for folks wanting to know hinges on 'Well, my character can be surprised and that's cool, but as a player I wouldn't want to be surprised.'

All I can say is that you people must play with a lot better core group of players here than I do. Maybe it's the genre that most of my games are in, I don't know, but I have enough trouble with people just keeping their character knowledge distinct from their player knowledge as it is - much less, trust them to play through a twist like they actually didn't know it was coming. I could maybe, maybe, scratch up three players that I would trust to do that.
Egleris
 member, 184 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 14:36
Re: Would you want to know?
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 43):

I wish you the best of luck in finding more player you can trust.

I'm not sure why anybody want want to play with people they can't trust. I mean, imagine you're running a Pathfinder Adventure Path, since those were mentioned; it's extremely easy to find detailed information on what an AP is about (I've personally read through the entirety of about two thirds of them, for instance, and I know most of the rest, if not as well). You will have no ability to know if the players you're accepting read it or not - you could ask, but they could lie. Does that means you should never run an AP then? I find that a bit silly.

I think some amount of trust is required for a game to function; how much is a matter of what the players and GM are willing to accept. So long as it works for you and your group, that's really all that matters, it's just that it's easier to make things work if you talk about them with the players beforehand, rather than keeping everything secret and hoping you're lucky enough for it to work out. I'd never trust my luck that far, to be honest, but that's a matter of personal taste - some people love gambling, after all.

So... it's not the surprise itself that is a problem for me, is when the surprise limits the player's abilities to make a decision that I take issues with it. Which includes the decision of "yes, I want to play in this kind of game". And as with all things, there are degrees - warning players that there will be a change of genres halfway through but without revealing the source or nature of the change will encourage players to join who would be fine with that kind of surprise. In that sense, that too is being honest with the players - and it also acts as a filter in keeping people who'd be fine with it.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:37, Sun 26 Apr.

praguepride
 member, 1604 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 20:26
Re: Would you want to know?
This will be my last post. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I think the critical thing when looking at a twist or surprise is if it runs with or against the theme and one of the game.

A princess turning out to be the mastermind villain or the PCs being manipulated into actually letting loose an ancient evil are both classic tropes in a fantasy game and so these twists, while surprising and fun, are within expectations of the theme of the game.

Likewise if you’re mainly playing a dungeon crawler of kick down the door, fight monsters, loot treasure then changing the set dressing from fantasy realms to futuristic spaceships don’t really alter the tone of the game. Might & Magic games did this a lot where the final levels you would find laser rifles and fight robots but overall the gameplay remained the same: kick down a door, fight monsters, get loot.

So I think you can look at changing one with care but both is an outright no-no. Changing it from a light hearted fantasy game to a grittier one can be done very well if properly set up and embraced by the players. Likewise changing from a fantasy dungeon crawler to a fantasy detective game is also something that can be done right. Some of the Pathfinder APs do this where half a book is set up as a big “whodunnit”.

Keep in mind that if you shift tone or setting you may experience some drop off in players.

HOWEVER if you change both the theme and tone of the game (i.e. the setting is different AND the gameplay is different) then this is a big red caution because you’ve really just sucker punched your players and not in a good way. If I designed a fantasy hack & slasher and get thrown into a post-apocalyptic survival game I, as a player, am going to out a big “what the heck’ and start to seriously reconsider what the point of even making a character for the game in the first place if all the choices I had made on both theme and tone were now invalidated.
evileeyore
 member, 315 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 21:04
Re: Would you want to know?
SunRuanEr:
It seems that a lot of the basis for folks wanting to know hinges on 'Well, my character can be surprised and that's cool, but as a player I wouldn't want to be surprised.'

No.  It has nothing to do with 'surprise'.  It has everything to do with "Did I sign on for this?"

For instance, if I'm told "it's a city game" and I make a Character competent to move about and interact in a city, then find out 5 minutes in that we're leaving civilization and never seeing it again*... I just made a Character that is useless, will remain useless for a long stretch, and will have to struggle every moment just to survive, let alone thrive.

Which is not the game I signed up for.

If I sign on for a 'beer and pretzels' D&D game and it Whatatwists into a harddriven, emotional, social-political Machiavellian game*... I leave if I what I needed or could handle right then was beer and pretzels.

If I'm advertised a wilderness hexcrawl and we never actually leave the city*, again, I'm out.  Even if I'm still at the table, I've stopped caring about the game.  And if I'm pissed enough, I might even start 'sabotaging' the GM's game.

Maybe I'm belaboring the point, but there is a vast difference between 'surprise' and genre shift.


Surprise is "You're all playing Federation officers on a light cruiser on picket duty near the Neutral Zone, things may get hairy, expect some intrigue, expect some ship-to-ship and QCB combat" and maybe 6 missions in you discover your Captain was a secret Romulan imposter planted to subvert Federation defenses and now your characters are waist deep in it trying to stop the Fed's defenses from being completely subverted to the Romulans while some of your own side distrust you because said Captain, your mentor and friend, was a spy after all...

Genre shift is signing on to play a Fed officer on a light cruiser on picket duty near the Neutral Zone and five missions in you suddenly get transferred to Section 31 and reassigned as spies sent to infiltrate the Romulan navy for the rest of the campaign...

Same game systems, very different games and playstyles.




* All actual examples that happened to me in previous groups where the Players decided they wanted to play in one genre, the GM said "Sure I'll run that", and then once game started did an about face and ran a totally different game than advertised.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15870 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 21:53
Re: Would you want to know?
*shrugs*  Oddly enough I would see those plot twists as a challenge - how to make my now less-than-optimal character thrive in a situation that he isn't really suited for.  Done it before, and would do it again, quite happily.

As I said before, I don't mind being surprised.

In fact, when creating a character I will often quite deliberately go for a somewhat flawed build anyway. then tell the GM "no thanks" when he tries to point out how to fix the "mistake".  :)
Winter51
 member, 149 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 21:56
Re: Would you want to know?
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 47):

Couldn't agree with BBR more. Most of my characters are deeply flawed in some way. Where's the fun in a cookie cutter character?
bigbadron
 moderator, 15871 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 22:13
Re: Would you want to know?
In reply to Winter51 (msg # 48):

I used to know a player (no longer about) who would always join my games and ask if she HAD to make a character the level specified in my character creation thread, or could they pick something lower.  Or she'd ask if it would be okay to build a character with  lower stats/skills/whatever than I'd said to use.

"Do I have to use all of my character points?" was another favourite.  :)
evileeyore
 member, 316 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 22:38
Re: Would you want to know?
bigbadron:
*shrugs*  Oddly enough I would see those plot twists as a challenge - how to make my now less-than-optimal character thrive in a situation that he isn't really suited for.  Done it before, and would do it again, quite happily.

As I said before, I don't mind being surprised.

In fact...

Same here.  When that's the game I'm interested in.


It's like going out to eat.  Sure sometimes it's fun when they bring you food you didn't order and don't want... and sometimes it's anaphylactic shock.
Egleris
 member, 185 posts
Sun 26 Apr 2020
at 22:58
Re: Would you want to know?

I can agree that playing something intentionally underpowered can be fun at times, and as I said, it's perfectly possible to keep playing and even enjoying it when a game changes on you all of a sudden - but it needs to be a choice of the player.

If I saw a character was underpowered, I would ask my player "this choice might lead to the following drawbacks; are you fine with facing those?", and if a player says "of course", that's fine; more often then not, however, the player will say to me "oh, I didn't realize, thanks for the warning".

As I said, to me RPGs are all about making informed choices; surprising situations create a possibility for interesting choices, but when it comes to actually joining the game, I feel like the choice needs to be made in an informed manner. That's just my take on it.
facemaker329
 member, 7199 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 27 Apr 2020
at 05:59
Re: Would you want to know?
I've been in a few games that had abrupt plot twists.  Most of them worked...some of them were dismal failures.  The ones that worked?  Well, one was a f2f game that we had been playing for close to a decade...the players all knew each other and the GM very well, and it was not so much a shift in genre as a series of hops through alternate realities.  That was done largely because the GM was running out of ideas for the campaign, and the game died fairly soon afterwards.  One was a Shadowrun game that started out with the party thinking they were contracting out for a mission somewhere in Africa...they got shanghaied as their plane was taking off and thrown into a completely different mission.  And the last one is a game that I just started...but I knew it was going to be a change, because I was told up-front that all the characters were going to wind up on the GMs home-brewed fantasy world.

The one that didn't work?  I was led to believe I would end up as part of a group in a sci-fi game.  I ended up being the only one on board a ship that was captured by officials, my character was immediately taken into custody and charged with mutiny and piracy with no regard for any arguments he made, and was summarily executed.  I joined the game on a Saturday...my character was dead by Tuesday.

So, yeah, I understand some of the hesitance about sudden, undeclared changes in what the game is.  In the Shadowrun game, while it was not what I thought I was getting into, I kind of had been warned that things were not going to be what they appeared from the start.  In the one I'm playing now, there was a lot of character creation that I did that was nullified by the first few posts in the game...a LOT of gear that my character had purchased during chargen was just left behind, with me having no influence on it whatsoever.  While I was mentally prepared for my character to have hopped worlds, I was not prepared to have half of everything he owned just vanish into the ether.  I'm enjoying the game...but I was annoyed that I'd prepared that much for the character, only to have it all be rendered moot.

It's not that I was bothered by the surprise of the change.  I've had a lot of games I've been in turn out to be something other than what I expected, through the years...but especially in play-by-post gaming, because I'm gaming this way because I DON'T have an overabundance of free time, having an abrupt shift in the game that effectively translates to me having wasted my time building a specific character fosters a degree of resentment.  It's one thing when it's expected, or even hinted at in advance...but when it yanks the proverbial rug out from under your feet, it can easily create more resentment than any enjoyment of the game will overcome.

That said...I routinely say on here that a GM should run the game how he wants to run it.  If they players don't like the game, they should leave.  Forcing the GM to run the game in a way they don't like impedes their enjoyment of the game.  But players should not be expected to endure a game they aren't enjoying, either.  So, sure...go ahead and do your surprise twist in genre...but do it at your own risk.  And don't be surprised if players up and leave on you.  I will say, the longer you've run your game, the more likely your players are to trust you if and when you do shift things on them...so you can get away with it, IF you put in the time to earn it.

But if you're going to do it, it's probably just easier to tell the players to expect a twist from the beginning, and know that you'll have players who will stick with the game (or at least, won't up and leave because of the plot twist.)
Harley Quinn
 member, 18 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2020
at 15:59
Re: Would you want to know?
mox:
- ordinary, clear the dungeon fantasy game, but when you finish and come out of the dungeon a 100 years have gone by and you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic setting
The way I look at it, my character isn't supposed to know that before hand why should I? It opens up to many possibilities for metagaming I constantly edit myself for that. I knew some who couldn't and some who didn't even know what the heck metagaming was.

mox:
- Some sort of Groundhog Day scenario.
I personally want to be in that scenario as long as it is not at work....wait it's Groundhog Day, I'll just skip. I pray for Groundhog Day all the time.

mox:
- out of the blue you find yourselves in a zombie Apocalypse.
That I would want to know in advance most likely.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:03, Sun 07 June.

Tileira
 member, 519 posts
Tue 16 Jun 2020
at 21:45
Re: Would you want to know?
In reply to praguepride (msg # 45):

This is my feeling. I want to know what kind of game I'm joining because I don't enjoy every kind. There are some I have no interest in whatsoever (e.g. time traveling, contemporary settings, slice-of-life...) and if the game changes into something I don't want to play, I'm not going to suddenly change my mind about that type of game. I'm going to feel betrayed and I'm going to leave.

But if it is a plot twist, I don't need to know. I don't need to know the whole story of the game. I just need to know what the game actually is.

But then I also don't want to waste character resources on something that quickly and deliberately becomes irrelevant. An example I would put in is an experience from New World of Darkness: I had a storyteller who insisted that if you didn't buy points in sanctuary/haven that you didn't have a house. But it didn't matter how many points you spent to make that place secure, because a dozen posts into the game the storyteller would have your antagonist breeze through it like tissue paper 'because plot'. If I had known it was useless, I would have put those points into one of the things I actually wanted and had to leave out.
Lauriebear
 member, 62 posts
 There is no truth. There
 is only perception
Wed 17 Jun 2020
at 11:24
Re: Would you want to know?
Tileira:
In reply to praguepride (msg # 45):

This is my feeling. I want to know what kind of game I'm joining because I don't enjoy every kind. There are some I have no interest in whatsoever (e.g. time traveling, contemporary settings, slice-of-life...) and if the game changes into something I don't want to play, I'm not going to suddenly change my mind about that type of game. I'm going to feel betrayed and I'm going to leave.

But if it is a plot twist, I don't need to know. I don't need to know the whole story of the game. I just need to know what the game actually is.


I am of your thinking Tileria, while I love slice of life games and fantasy I am not one for Apocalypse types or Star Trek type and if my elfin character who was going through the enchanted forest found a portal and was transposed into 1952 Brooklyn or LA...that I could figure out how to infuse my character into but if she was transported to the Enterprise in a Star Trek setting I'd be lost, or worse transported to 1952 Brooklyn in an Apocalyptic world...I would absolutely dislike that.

If the game changes into a setting I do not like to play in well I too would feel betrayed and my taste isn't going to instantly changes.  More than likely I'd leave.