thread: 2009-04-30 : Magical Magic
On 2009-05-03, Mathieu Leocmach wrote:
Very nice post that corners well the magic done by the players and described by another one (Gina Mary).
Magic done by the world, ie setting triggered (astrological conjunction, waking of a Great Ancient…) and described by the GM (may work with Gina Mary but I cannot confirm) seems magical via another mechanism. Of course a coherent aesthetic is needed. But you also need a lack of explicit description.
Tell your players that they see “a white lady in a halo of pure light” is not the same as “you see a women around forty, about Kate’s size, with a very long white dress. Their is light 43cm around her.” Why is it different ? You let the players imagine their own “White Lady”.
The GM is not imposing fully is own aesthetic, so it is much easier for the description to feel right in the player’s own aesthetic referential.
Have you read the novel “The little prince” ? A young boy ask a grown up “Please, draw a sheep for me” and is never satisfied by the attempts of the adult. So finally the grown up draws a box and says “the sheep you want is inside”. The boy is then fully happy because the drawn sheep matches his imagination.
I wonder if such a mechanism isn’t also necessary in the case you are studying, the magic done by the payers.
By the way, doing the contrary, ie stuffing a lot of predictable details hard coded in the rules, can be a good design choice for humor-based game. Desanctifying something that should be “magical” creates a distance and distance is a root of humor.
Make a rule like “The contact with a galon of blessed water induce 1D6 of damage to a demon” and soon you’ll have PC blessing the water flushing out of a pressure washer (an laughing players).