Monday, 26 March 2012

Article Spotlight: The Monstrous Vignette in 8 Quick Steps

(Let me just first say sorry for not posting last weeks "Things-To-Do". Assignments got on top of me, but I will be posting 2 submissions for it this week to make up for the delay.)

Once again, I have found a pocket of awesome on the waves of the maelstromic-Internet. This time, it is something I have never even considered, but after reading about it, can't stop wanting to try!

Have you ever wanted to shovel some insight about your Party's enemies onto the players without it feeling like an info dump or a meta-game? Well, Leonine Roar has an article titled "The Monstrous Vignette in 8 Quick Steps" that will be perfect for you!

Basically, in literature, a vignette is a scene portrayed not form the main character's view in which information that the main character is not aware of is transferred to the audience. Therefore, in an RPG, it would constitute the players taking the roles of NPCs, or perhaps even villains, and playing from their perspective for a scene/encounter or two...

This idea is sheer brilliance in my opinion. Imagine this: the PCs set down to sleep in a tavern at the end of a massive adventure. They believe they are safe, and have just averted certain doom for the city/town they are in. However, whilst their asleep, their dreams tell them something different...

You hand the players new, simplified character sheets with a short bio on them and you explain that they are transported into the minds of their enemies. They have a goal: kill or destroy something the PCs have recently encountered and had near fond memories of. Once they accomplish this grisly task, have them catch a glimpse of the BBEG, and then fade back into their real selves.

Obviously, this could be handled badly; the PCs could meta-game and refuse to carry out the mission, or they could use this knowledge gained to meta-game after the fact. To avoid this, state clearly that their performance as the enemy will directly relate to XP gained during that session. Therefore, the stuff they do as the enemy will gain them XP for their main characters.

Please read the article I have linked to, and try it out for yourself! I sure know I am planning one or two of these in my up-coming campaign :)

Keep rolling those dice, and I hope to speak to you again soon!