Apr 25

Faculty Meeting # 109 – Sideways Success


New RPG Academy Crest Hi Rez clean edges

Hello and welcome to Faculty Meetings – The general advice and discussion podcasts from The Rpg Academy. This is Faculty Meeting # 109 – Sideways Success

In this episode Caleb and I tackled impossible odds.


Gamers Lexicon: Nobility.


General Assembly: Attempting the impossible.


New Student Introductions: Noble Cleric.




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    • Mike on April 25, 2017 at 3:20 pm
    • Reply

    One thing I picked up from 13th Age is just how important transparency is for fun. In particular for players, communicating their intent.

    One thing that used to happen in my games, and still does but we’re trying to avoid it, is a game of 20 questions. “Is there a rock there?” “Is there a chandelier?” And so on. Basically things I might not have said were in an environment, but might make sense for it. The player has a cool idea, and they’re fishing to see if it’s possible. I don’t want to shoot their idea down by saying the “wrong” thing in response to their questions though, so instead I try to get them to tell me just what they’re trying to do. If it fits, I green flag it right away, we roll and get doing. It also encourages the players to keep on adding to the scene themselves. Which is almost always going to be more awesome than my ideas alone.

    1. Mike,

      Totally agree. We have a FM ep titled ‘Yes, there is a chandelier!’ where we talk about allowing players to create details of the scene rather than playing “Dm May I?”

      Thanks for the listen!


  1. I like succeeding sideways.

    In the example of trying to charm the guard so they don’t alert everyone, it’s impossible for some reason, maybe the guard is blind and does everything by sound other senses so they need to be able see them to be charmed, but there is no way they can succeed. So to succeed sideways in that situation I’d have the guy slip on the banana peal, because they rolled well, and they now have a few minutes before the alarm is raised. So the negative effect, of the alarm is still going to happen because what they were trying to do couldn’t work, but they’ve bought themselves some time.

    It’s still very much a learning process so that it balances out. Sometimes there are things that would be cooler for the PC’s to do that don’t make logical sense so I drag it out a little bit longer and it won’t happen so sometimes I feel like I should just let them happen. It’s the yes/and, no/but, or yes/but situation. I kind of like yes, but it is going to take you longer or yes but it’s going to blow your stealth.

    I’m on board with Caleb, not a big Game of Thrones fan, I find it boring.

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