#RPGaDAY2018: Day 20 — Which game mechanic inspires your play the most?


The final dozen prompts for this year’s RPGaDay are upon us. Let’s have a look at what this Monday morning has to offer. Today, we’re asked, “which game mechanic inspires your play the most?

As a DM, I like mechanics that drive the narrative. I think in my games, that would fall to critical successes and failures. Really, any skill check lends itself to a storytelling moment, but when you hover over those 1s and 20s, when you use them to make a moment spectacular, well then something magical happens at the table.

Related image

Obviously, Critical Successes are coveted and exciting. The whole table erupts when a Natural 20 drops. But when a Natural 1 is rolled, a pall settles over the players. “Oohs” and “aahs” resound, often accompanied by nervous laughter. These are thematic moments, when something goes horribly wrong.

In terms of these critical rolls, I often think of everyone’s favorite scoundrel, Han Solo, a character who seems to live on the extreme ends of the luck spectrum. There’s nothing middling about the Captain of the Millennium Falcon, he either pulls off the amazing or fails in an unforgettable way. It’s part of his charm.

Image result for han solo not my fault

To turn that critical failure into something memorable and thematically satisfying is a way of snatching victory from defeat. If you’re going to go out, do so in a blaze of glory.

A good DM can make these critical rolls sing, especially when everything’s coming up 1s.

duat card

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s