Friday, March 20, 2015
When the Door Finally Opens...My Way of GMing
After a week of waiting, the players, +Chris C. and +Ken H, got to see (or in this case hear) what was beyond the opening door. But wait, let's back up.
Ending a game on a cliff hanger, something as simple as an opening door, leaves the players with something to think about for a week. Their own imagination will create a dozen or more wild scenarios you as a GM hadn't thought of. When I end a game session on a cliffhanger I sometimes know what will be on the other side. Most times I don't.
The way I process the situation is I consider what occurred during the last couple of sessions and the first two or three ideas that come into my head I toss out right away. The first thing I think of is always too easy, too obvious. If I'm not surprised, the players aren't going to be surprised. When you wait for the door to open for a week, I want it to pay off. I want it to be worth the wait.
My first thought was to have the shadow creature they encountered in the very first session leap out. Tossed. Then I thought they would see one of the main NPCs walk out and say something important. Tossed. Both were playing on visual reactions. But instead, after thinking about it, they players heard a noises. A creepy symphony of millions of damned souls screaming out in agony. Bam! Keeper.
Not only does this surprise me, but it allows me as a GM to engage another sense of the players. RPGs are often focused on the visual aspects of the game, but it is a lot of fun to engage the sense of hearing. I'm not a fan of engaging the sense of smell. No need to go there.
In the end, the opening scene from my Exoterrorist game creeped the hell out of my players. Mission accomplished.