This week’s Game WISH is about player-driven shifts:
What’s the biggest PC-driven shift you’ve ever experienced in a campaign? If you were a player, what made you feel like you could successfully change the GM’s world? If you were a GM, was this planned or something the PCs surprised you with?
Probably unsurprisingly, my example comes from a Feng Shui campaign. (Shifts in the world are built right into the background.) Brad was the GM; the PCs were Transformed Dragons who were not part of the Ascended. Ascended — think Illuminati, but with a ruling class made up of animals who had transformed into human form. Brad made it really clear from the beginning that he wanted to run a world-changing campaign, and we took him up on the offer by going back to the 1850s juncture and working to make demons part of society. The plan was to increase the ambient level of magic so that we could take our true draconic forms once again.
This had some unfortunate side effects, including making it possible for the Architects to take power in the future, but we hadn’t really figured out the real consequences of what we’d done before the game ended. It was a blast working on the grand scale, however.
As I mentioned, we felt we could do what we did because the GM told us so and we trusted him. Carl’s UN PEACE game also featured some pretty noticable shifts; in that case, he presented world-changing events as a consequence of our actions rather than as a reward. I.e., we found out pretty quickly that as five of the 400 superhumans in the world, we had to be careful what we did in order to avoid changing the world in ways we didn’t like.
Interesting contrast there, come to think of it. My followup question would be “Were your PC-driven shifts rewards, consequences, or both?”