21 July, 2013

A story mechanism for player driven foreshadowing

I'm currently trying to work out the best way to describe a game mechanism where players can highlight a specific event during play, they claim that this event foreshadows a dramatic turn in the story.

They make a standard skill check when they see the foreshadow event (no specific skills, basically just a 50/50 chance of success or failure), determining whether this is a success (they feel it foreshadows something good), or a failure (it sends a shiver down their spine). They don't gain any specific effects from the success or failure at this stage.

One player may foreshadow an event, or additional players can attach their own highlighted events to an existing dramatic turn.

When the dramatic turn occurs, everyone who has an attached event gains the effects of their original skill checks. Those who failed their checks find that the dramatic turn causes problems for them, those who succeeded gain a benefit from the twist.

All players with a stake in the dramatic twist must be present when the twist is resolved. If the players remain split up until the end of the session, maybe the twist will occur during the next session. If the twist takes a few sessions to resolve, players might end up attaching multiple stake results to the dramatic twist. Such twists could end up very lucrative, very detrimental, or could have strange mixed results.
  
In theory it seems to work, I'd be interested to see how it turned out in practice.
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