Page 704 - Cheap Thriller

26th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Cheap Thriller
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 26th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
Moments of suspense can be pretty difficult to create with a rowdy group of friends (or at least just one particular jokester) that are guaranteed to do their best to deflate a tense situation.

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ANW 26th Jan 2016, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
Time for a random Tv trope.
No, no, gross, perfect.
This is not my life to take.
You have beaten down the Big Bad Boss.
And it is time to deliver the fatal blow.
But you stop. Someone else deserve it better.
So you step to the side and allow him to finish it off.
Masterweaver 26th Jan 2016, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
"Moments of suspense can be pretty difficult to create with a rowdy group of friends (or at least just one particular jokester) that are guaranteed to do their best to deflate a tense situation."

Digo Dragon 26th Jan 2016, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
There was one time I had a tense standoff situation built up between armed NPCs and armed PCs. The one jokester of the player group desides to just knock on the door shouting "Candygram!"

I had all the NPCs open fire at the door. The joker lived and the PCs beat up the opposing group easily enough, but I thought it was worth it for that moment the jokester realized (with wide surprised eyes) how many bullets he had to soak.
Dragonflight 26th Jan 2016, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
There was a Marvel Advanced Supers game I was in. A villain known as Adonis, who used pheromones and mind control to turn beautiful women into toys and thieves for his criminal underworld was enjoying his recently ill-gained loot (and girls) in his penthouse.

The PC's gathered just outside the door (gas masks and protective devices on,) and as we burst through, one of the PC's calls out, "Cleaning service! We're here to clean your clocks!"

As I recall, the combat went sort of so-so. We recovered the loot and saved most of the girls, but Adonis got away with one of the PC's when he managed to get her mask off and convinced her to fly him to safety. He's so unfair that way...
j-eagle12212012 26th Jan 2016, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
Tack on a Nat 20 and you have the funniest moment in Fallout is Dragons in recent history
Joe the Rat 26th Jan 2016, 5:46 AM edit delete reply
Really? Our jokers does a good job of escalating tensions. One of them says something stupid that, in character, turns a neutral situation bad and a bad one worse. That "No backsies" clause has made things interesting.

The other deals with tension by shooting someone in the face. Nothing solves a standoff like escalating violence.

Guess which one is me.
Digo Dragon 26th Jan 2016, 5:54 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Worse to me is when one or two PCs work to de-escalate the situation and just when they're about to have it under control is when someone walks in and lights the fuse.

Azaph 27th Jan 2016, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Oh God.
SSo this isn't precicely RP, but there was a MUN once where I spent several hours (like, genuine real-life hours) negotiating a deal where North Korea was actually going to let UN inspectors in. It's MUN, we do that. I'm just putting the final details in place, we've got about five or six pages of stuff we've agreed to in front of us when...
America announces he's sending in the SAS. No particular reason, he just felt like it.
My 'what the HELL are you doing?' face was apparently hilarous.
Evilbob 26th Jan 2016, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Of course. When in doubt, cleanse it with fire. Obviously.
Digo Dragon 26th Jan 2016, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My issue with fire is that 99% of the time my character is flammable and 100% of the time the dice are not on my side. :D
Specter 26th Jan 2016, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Suspense is a object used to create tension and focus from a party. It can be parallel to running/hiding from a very tough opponent, a dramatic fight, or to simply watch the dice fall.

I am not unfamiliar with this feeling, but sadly the suspense I usually get is one where the DM doesn't quite realize they have created for me, that eventually bites me in the rear (curses to the love interest side-quest).
SilverShadow4 26th Jan 2016, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
This music track is amazing thank you so much!!
Winged Cat 26th Jan 2016, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
Just so long as you don't overdo it. That happened to me recently.

PCs have been taken prisoner by some slavers. They try setting up escape plans. GM sets up a scene, where the guards are about to execute a NPC prisoner, that the GM says is meant to be a moral dilemma: do the PCs let it happen so they can have a smoother escape, or do they try to rescue the prisoner?

Except...the PCs are lying on the ground, surrounded by guards with weapons pointed at them, and every contingency the PCs have set up has been thwarted. (For instance, the guards just happened to announce the execution and round everyone up as the PCs were about to start hiding in a spot they'd just constructed; by the time the execution is over, the spot will have been discovered.) The GM says we're going to roll initiative, which means we have to pick combat actions. Going over with the GM each action on the list, only "do nothing" does not appear to result in the PCs' immediate deaths.

Perhaps it's just me, but if the PCs' choices are reduced to "die and let the prisoner die" or "let the prisoner die", there's no moral component to that, nor is there any suspense.
ProfessorHawke 26th Jan 2016, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Yeah. One thing you have to be careful about in making suspense is keeping in mind what options will appear reasonable to the players based on what they know.

If they don't see any way they can prevent something, they won't act. If they don't know that an antagonist is 'meant' to be fought a few levels later, they might fight them right now.

While there are times this failure falls on the players' shoulders, it often comes from a DM not thinking things through and failing to realize a given choice's intended options aren't really reasonable from what the players know or the resources they have.
Mordenheim 26th Jan 2016, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Yikes! Was your GM just having a really bad day or what?
Blueblade 26th Jan 2016, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
Are we telling stories about tense situations being made not tense because of the players?
I got one for that...
Fallout is Dragons.
Also that is the third Time I've made this joke.
Senshuken 27th Jan 2016, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
Oh, I actually have a tale of about character stress and how it can change their behavior.

The pony tales campaign I'm playing in has my character Strong Copper (a unicorn from Canterlot with light social anxiety who doesn't handle stress well and likes to be alone) on the moon and fighting Nightmares (The quick version is, Nightmare Moon created them by basing each of them on a fear then siccing them on ponies while they spelt as weapons of war. The biggest and most powerful one is a Greater Nightmare called Lo'tan, who is the Nightmare of the ocean and everything ocean related. He is a very big boy).

Strong Copper has more or less been pushed into being the leader of the party because he seems to be the only sane one who is apart of the group (For a given value of sane); The other two party members are a lovecraftian god worshiping unicorn mare who summons the minions of her swamp goat god and a weatherpony who is insanely good at flying but is kind of thick, carefree and believes that the horrifying, soul eating forces of corruption that are the nightmares can be befriended to the point that the rest of the party has been tempted to kill him when he tried to stop them fighting a nightmare possessing the cultist mare.

On top of this, Strong Copper has just figured out that there is an army of golems under the moon that use status magic that, should they awaken, will actively target every living thing and freeze it in status, effectively ending the world by freezing everything alive in time.

And Strong Copper has been unable to unwind for over a week and a half because he has either been stuck with the party or actively busy trying to come up with some magical ritual or spell that will help them with their current objective so they can have some breathing room to deal with the bigger threat that is on route. He can't even dream peacefully anymore because whenever he tries a moth pony comes and asks him to help save one of his party members from their own nightmares.

All Strong Copper wants to do right now is go to the beach by himself and make sandcastles for an hour or so; Just something mindlessly fun so that he can just let his mind relax and he can unwind for a while... And if he doesn't do it soon he is going to kill someone, which would be a big deal because he hasn't actually killed something that isn't a nightmare before.
jdb1984 27th Jan 2016, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Imagine what would happen if Applejack came back to find her character dead from a train.
GrayGriffin 27th Jan 2016, 3:26 PM edit delete reply
Hey...I went to the Pony Tales forum, but none of the links in the rulebook thread are working. I see the link text bolded, but I can't click it. Is anyone else having this problem?