OK, quick gaming story.

I ran a convention game once (In Nomine) for some of the old-school In Nomine folks; people who knew the game world, because they helped write parts of it. So I told them to bring fortune cookies, and one of each basic land from Magic: The Gathering. They asked me why. I told them to guess.

That’s right: I didn’t have a clue why they needed them, but I figured that I’d figure that out soon enough. Or, better, that they’d tell me. And they did! Clearly I had planned to use the Magic cards to simulate luck rolls: I’d pick a card, hold it behind my back, and if they guess the right card I’d let them luck out.  And that’s what they did*.

Moral of the story: Moe’s lazy. Oh, and creativity can be about when to get out of the way of yourself and let other people use their imaginations.  And that Ken Hite is right: when your players’ ideas are better than yours, just run with it.  But it’s mostly that Moe’s lazy.

Moe Lane

PS: Either I decided, or the group decided, that when we rolled a critical failure/success the person doing the roll would eat a fortune cookie and the crit would be ‘flavored’ by the cookie’s message.  I need to remember that one, actually.  It worked out rather well.

*Turns out that the Line Editor for In Nomine is either a low-grade psychic, or really good at reading my tells, because she got the right card something like three times running. But that was fine**.

**Because she also had brought along her small child — dear God, that kid’s probably old enough to vote now — because it’s a con and her husband was also playing in the game and I didn’t mind, anyway.  She had a good chuckle about that, in fact; naturally, her daughter knew about In Nomine, and the kid had gotten it into her head that she was going to get to be Beleth, Demon Princess of Nightmares in my game. Let’s be clear; this was the kid’s idea, not the mom’s. Her mom clearly thought that it was just her kid being cute.

So of course I smiled and said ‘Sure!’  And then proceeded to run a game where a small child had the ability to casually rewrite the laws of nature (Superiors in In Nomine are deliberately designed to be impossible to quantify by mere players).  Everything that the kid said, happened. A player tried to take advantage of that.  Once.  Afterwards, they just dodged around the situation, which I feel was a good deal more fun for everybody involved.



  • MichaelN21209 says:

    I’m sorry that I missed that game. 🙂

  • Luke says:

    I am all in favor of this.
    That said…
    I’ve stunted my writing by doing this.
    I can nail the hook, but then I have a big blank space where something important obviously belongs. It’s not at all like listening to the players speculate, taking their most interesting ideas, putting a twist on them, and regurgitating.
    I’m working on it.

  • jeboyle says:

    A child playing a demon princess? Oh, VERY nice.

    Beware the Power of the Untrammeled Mind.

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