Saturday, 24 January 2015

Predictions and prophecies

To make that last alarming post more game-relevant, how do you use something like the Doomsday Clock in a game?

The threat of nuclear extinction and environmental collapse don’t inform every game, any more than every story made or set in the 80s had the Doomsday Clock on the news - while Watchmen did, because the countdown to a potential and seemingly inevitable apocalypse was a key part of the story and something the characters directly affected. It’s part of the ticking clock motif that runs through the story.

More generally, what about accurate predictions, or warnings meant to prevent some catastrophe? And this is before you get to magical predictions. One very useful trick here is to have more than one legitimate reading, in case the players smash one of them. (I stumbled on that by accident in The Watch House, when the same specifics could apply to Milli or Victoria.)

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