Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cutscenes and Metagaming, Mystery and Secrets

Raised by Chris Jarvis here, and addressed on the DWAITAS forum afterwards:  

Where does IC knowledge end and OOC knowledge begin?
Hopefully this should be obvious, but you never know.  

How good are you at separating IC and OOC knowledge?
Hopefully pretty good, but nobody’s 100%. I’ve seen more honest mistakes than active cheating here, thankfully.

When would a surprise or mystery be more fun than a spoiler?
marnal suggests when the player gets to work something out and gets a sense of accomplishment as a result. Likewise, I’ve had players request less spoilers so they can react more naturally in-character.  

When might spoilers be necessary?
I’d consider things like game premise here - few players appreciate a “bait and switch” campaign once, let alone again. The characters might be surprised to be whisked off into space, but the players better not have been looking forward to an Earthbound game with lots of contacts and connections featured strongly.  

When is metagaming a good thing?
The classic example is “letting a new PC join the party” but there’s more to it than that. In the discussed example of mysteries and cutscenes, a player knowingly sending a PC into danger is a kind of metagaming which may well be encouraged, and indeed may be vital.

How do you construct a cutscene?
Click here for my ideas.

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