Those improvisational moments…

Texas in August Studio

Texas in August Studio
The improvisational moments in an RPG game are sometimes the best and most memorable. In a recent game I had two such moments which seemed to land well with the players. For the sake of clarity, this was a Mage: The Ascension game.

First, during the game the players found themselves in the spirit world version of a hotel (the Umbra). They were at the hotel pool and as a one-off non-sequitur I said in the pool were water-babies and mermaids, who were playing volleyball.

Naturally, this got more attention than the actual story.

This led the players to ask about water-babies; they had never heard of them before. I remember the children’s stories. One player asked if they were like the women in Las Vegas who wear bikini’s hand hang out at swimming pools. Another player said, and I quote, “No, those are water babes.” Needing to do so, I improvised and then described the water-babies as people sized, but covered with seal-fur. Later the characters were running down the hallways of the spirit hotel, following the running water-babies, because the PCs hoped the water-babies knew the way out and they were all being chased by bad guys (Technocracy strike team).

Second, I had to again improvise an encounter between the PCs and the staff at a magic auto-shop (Sons of Ether run chop-shop). I had thought they would go to the shop, but in the real world. But they were still in the spirit world. So I needed a way to have them interact with the wizards running the place. I decided, as much to amuse myself as anything else, that robot-monster was in the spirit version of the shop. But he is a friendly robot, helps them and serves to put them in contact with his human wizard creators. And he talks in a phony-baloney Boris Karloff impression. If you have heard the audio-books of Terry Pratchett where an Igor appears, yeah, that is the voice I did.

Anyway, this was all unplanned, improvised on the moment, and it still all worked. This is a big part of why I enjoy gaming.

What are your memorable improvisational moments?

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