I think you're saying you didn't like what you quoted from the other poster, but I can't tell.
Can you rewrite that bit and maybe do without all the fancy shmancy catch phrases? It might help dumb
people like me understand what you're trying to say.
I thought the stick idea was pretty funny. I'm just wondering if you are warning us not to do it. I think you even explained what is good or bad about doing that, but I can't tell through all the needless jargon.
I had hoped that someone will beat me to it, as I'm quite bad at explaining things in detail. That's why I used so many, maybe a bit uncommon phrases - each (well, maybe not "cockup") saved me at least one full paragraph. I'll do my best to explain those terms and therefore previous post, but because I will be doing that, I'll make you pay dearly and forward you to page, where certain people shouldn't be sent to. At least if they value their time.
Home Page - Television Tropes & Idioms
May Yhwh have mercy on my soul.
If you prefer my explanation:
cockup - brit word for botch (ie: I had high hopes for Daikatana, but it was a total cockup
. or -How was last session with McBad Geam? -Several cockups leading to TPK, the usual
Anton Chekhov was a brilliant literate. But among laymen however, he's mostly known for his quote on scene design, which first appeared in his correspondence, then in a journal about theatres. The one I I quote is paraphrase of them from Memoirs
"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."
in it's wide meaning is technique, or rather type of foreshadowing. Reader knows
that any object placed in story is bound to be relevant to the story. Said object/information is called Chekhov's gun. It makes for clear storytelling, but it can often ruin the story for more savvy readers.
Many great authors write with contrary idea - they populate their world so what reader/observer can better empathise with problems the protagonist is facing (instead of just cheering for him "Oh come on
! Old lady cat was eating a fish
! Of course
the killer was the fisherman you meet in the mornings, how can you not see this
?!")- for example Thomas Harris "Red Dragon" is full of false leads, objects to which investigators put too much meaning to, etc. Ignoring Chekhov's advice means that the reader is forced to use own brain and think outside the box. He will challenge the plan presented by author. This of course means there's a lot of pressure on storyteller - his tale must actually make sense, because he tries to make reader involved instead of relying on suspense of disbelief (oh so many "genius" plans that had more holes than emmentaler cheese (yeah it's the one with all the holes ;-) )).
is almost direct contradiction of Chekhov's gun. Players used to DM's and games where everything is relevant will chase first red herring in sight, then possibly slay it and expect GP's and misplaced artefacts to pour out of his stomach.
Ah, and the good old "lamp shading", or "lampshade hanging", or simply "lampshade". Author acknowledges his idea is poor, or maybe that he overused a joke or a trope... He acknowledges this fact, makes his sweetest expression and basicaly says to reader "bare with me on that, it's gonna be cool". So the bad design is the shining lamp, and this act is the lampshade. For example:
"This would work only in a movie!" or by Shakespear himself (Twelfth Night): "If this were play'd upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction."
Those are examples of lampshading in action. But sometimes author will acknowledge that he's been overusing something. It's well known around Discworld thatmilion to one chances work in 9 out of ten situations (is there any book without this sentence?). In one of the books (um, the one where Watch is introduced as more than Nobby and Fred), characters deem hitting a dragon too probable, and add more details like standing on one leg, with hanky in hand - to boost improbability and make it sure shot.
So if GM mentions anything
only if it's relevant to the story, for example he never describes small mannerisms of insignificant people, or details of surroundings - anything that he does
mention - has to be significant.
In such world, it's a scientific fact
of quantum physics, that any object or incident that is observed
- holds significance to observer.
If GM puts door only to trap it or put monsters behind it, his players will treat any such portal as a threat. Can you imagine taking 20 minutes every time you encounter a door? Some portion of mushrooms is poisonous. If GM puts only
poisoned or otherwise threatening fungi around the place - it's no strange thing that PC's could starve in cavern full of nutritious shrooms.
If discoloured plates and misplaced sticks are mentioned only to note a trap - it's not particularly strange that players will take their time over every plate that had to be replaced, and every stick that was dropped. If it signifies anything
- it's that DM storytelling tricks are predictable.
, I'd still give benefit of doubt to the DM - he could be leading a game for new group that has undertaken years of respondent conditioning by some other DM. Or maybe they like their plots only as a premise for killing stuff. I don't judge, but my original reaction to story was that it was sad testimony not to players but to Pavlovian DM who shaped them so.
Isn't that exactly why it's the perfect trap? The players expect it to be important.
Yes, if GM indulges certain type of narrative, the players will expect any twig that get's mentioned by GM to be of grave importance. Their characters would not. They see sticks, twigs and number of other forms of long objects all the time(especially since bulk of them are male). Their characters
might realize they're bound to encounter people of more power then theirs, and an occasional stick that is just laying there.
Taking over groups from such DM's can be awful for people who prefer to lead games in open worlds. They will attack any villain, they will slay every monster and will expect any threat to be level appropriate. Ugh.
PS.: As you can see, I used those terms not to be pompous, but rather because I'd otherwise have to spend a lot of text explaining ideas behind them, and I'm really terrible at explaining stuff. You know how the old interview cliché goes: "And what's your biggest vice?" "I'm too much of a perfectionist". It aint funny when you actually are
Try drawing a forest when you want to focus on each tree separately.
Despite this disability of mine, I do love to explain things, so I consider anyone exposed to be my victim of a crime of passion. When I'm eventually judged for this by the beardy GM in the sky - your name will come up