Monday, March 17, 2008

How do you deal with Epic Mental Characters?

From a thread on the Scion Forums...

One thing I do is allow my players to "poll their epic wits" - that is, PCs with epic wits or intelligence may ask the other players for feedback and ideas. Players can butt in at any moment: "speaking as your epic wits, you might want to try..." As long as they are quick about it, that is. I don't want (and usually won't allow) 10-minute strategy debates every third tick, but I do allow a lot more tabletalk for Scion than any other RPG I've run.

Also, if I see the PCs making a mistake or falling into a trap, I resist the temptation to spring it on them. (Of course, if the trap was set by someone with more epic intelligence or epic manipulation than them, then I'll sit quiet and watch the fun - but that doesn't happen very often.) Instead, I point out that they're so clever they deduce that their intended course of action was about to cause some massive trouble for them. Depending on the situation, I may briefly summarize the likely consequences so they can choose whether or not to go ahead with it.

For example, next session will likely begin with me telling one of the PCs the following:
"As the ship sails back to Dakar, you think about the situation you're facing and realize that you're effectively delivering your own personal declaration of war to a goddess. If you go mess with Tlazlteotl in the way you're planning, her reaction will be drastic. The fact that you're one of the main characters of the story won't necessarily save you - you may just be another Greek Tragedy."
Hopefully, that'll make the player think for a moment and try a slightly less direct approach to the conflict at hand. If not, at least it'll make for a good story.

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