August 14th, 2018


RPG-a-day, day 14: Describe a failure that became amazing

Day 14: Describe a failure that became amazing
I wrote about “Say yes or roll the dice” yesterday, and that is kind of related to this question as well. Failure should be interesting, and modern game systems like the Apocalypse World Engine or Forged in the Dark fully embody that. So every failure gets to be amazing from the viewpoint of the player — though perhaps not so much from the viewpoint of the character!
There was that time in Blades in the Dark that Crate, my Slide (a social manipulator) had to accompany Mr Molesley, our Cutter (a dirty fighter) in our attack on the headquarters of the Billhooks. Molesley did his thing and dispatched the opposing gang members left and right, but Crate had decidedly less success. He stressed out and fainted when resisting the consequences of being stabbed, and I selected the Reckless trauma. From that session on, Crate didn’t care about the danger he put himself or others in, and turned into a bit of a cold-blooded killer if violence could solve their problems. (Which is a veritable XP mine in Blades!)
After the demise of Molesley, it befell to Crate to perpetrate all of the needed violence, and he will switch to the Cutter playbook next session. So much character growth (and fun complications!) because of a single failure. That’s awesome.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.