System Surprise and Suspense in TTRPG


(He, Him)
Reading this discussion of system surprise and suspense in videogames, I wondered about TTRPG. The authors define

Surprise – a revelatory moment where a player’s understanding of the game is sharply altered​
Suspense – a state in which the player is actively and excitedly aware of uncertainty in their understanding of the game​
Have you experienced system surprise and suspense in TTRPG? This is not asking whether something about the emergent or prepped fiction, or player-character choices surprised you, but whether something about the system did? The game mechanics and how they played out? That could include how they played out in light of written, game specific goals and principles.

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