thread: 2005-03-10 : Character Death

On 2005-03-10, JasonN wrote:

I'm gunna work my way to a point and question.

To start with, I like it when games make participants out of audience.  These are social events, right?  "Wanna play?  Cool, we'll figure it out.  Sit down, have a beer."

Sometimes, when we say 'audience' we mean 'players whose characters are not in the scene right now'.  Sometimes, we mean people who are sitting in, but aren't full-blown players, as we have the term constructed in our heads.

There was a Forge thread a while ago dealing with PTA, about someone visiting someone else's game, and they let him sit and kibitz—and wish they let him dish out Fan Mail, too.  That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about.  You don't need to have a PC to be a participant.  Just look at the GM.

Anyway, in a game where audience (of either type, but in particular the former) is encouraged and empowered to participate, a character's death doesn't really cut them out of the action.  PTA, right?  Comes around to you, and you call your scene, right?  You're still not as actively involved in the action as the players who have characters, but that's because games are *made* that way, today.

I play with a GM who likes to run Call of Cthulhu.  Somtimes he runs one-shots.  Character death happens from time to time, as you may know—especially in one-shots.  So in certain games, when your guy dies, and the scene ends, he calls a break and takes the player in the back room, gives them the secrets, and lets them take over the action of at least one of the bad guys.  If more people die, the number of players working on the bad guy stuff grows, and you look across the table, and you feel like, wow, we're almost outnumbered.  By people who know us.  And now they have all the secrets.

That's kinda cool—but it's not thematic play, as Vincent originally framed the question.  So.

I guess, in Forgese, the question is this: in collaborative thematic play, is it possible to address Premise as audience, that is, as anyone who doesn't have an active character, but is still participating in the game?

If so, character death should still be a big deal, but it's not the participation-killing event it might otherwise be, for the player.


This makes...
short response
optional explanation (be brief!):

if you're human, not a spambot, type "human":