It doesn't have to laugh out loud funny or funny at all, but an encounter that is light in nature. In the first Manor, in the forest encounters, the last entry was about a woman who was cooking for folks who came around. Put a couple of coins in the cup as appreciation or even a few ingredients she could use in her next meal. I guess this would have been the early version of Patreon.
|Not sure this has anything to do with the post, but I do like monkeys.|
In the encounter the players could easily slaughter the group. Take was food and coin was available and move on. Or they could partake in the situation, and enjoy a non-life threatening encounter. I get that some groups are not into this. Too bad. I think it's an important part that gets under utilized.
In tv shows and movies, many times the situation will be happy, people will smiling in slow motion, children laughing as they swing, adults having that moment of not a care in the world with happy music in the background. The BAM!, it all goes to shit. I think those small moments before things go to shit are a great tool in an adventure. Those brief moments give the players something to care about, raise the stakes of the situation.
Using the situation about, the players meet this lady and find her food to be good and they come back. Maybe even grab her a few herbs she could not afford. They strike up a friendship based on a situation as simple as sharing a meal. A few sessions down the line, something goes bad. The lady is captured, killed, poisoned or accused of something.
The players are going to take a special interest. The GM has them hooked emotionally in the situation. This is where things can get very interesting in a campaign. If done correctly the players will talk about it as a highlight or one of the favorite series of gaming sessions.
Add a lighter side to your game so the darker side matters more. With enough practice you'll find it a cool tool to use during sessions.