Monday, September 30, 2013

On the Weaponization of Notice

This weekend I ran my first game in an episodic cyberpunk campaign with just a few people in attendance. We system is Savage Worlds and one of the three players had any experience with the system. I gave the most rudimentary of rules explanations and jumped into the story, believing it best to learn Savage Worlds as we go.

At the beginning of the game, one of my players asked what the Notice skill does. I explained that it helps the character pick up on things that are out of the ordinary. This player would go on to use Notice in a way I didn't anticipate. He made it a weapon.

Most of the time, Notice checks are a way for the GM to reveal information to player, such as finding a clue or seeing the danger in the shadows. It's typically the GM who says when the Notice skill should be used. That wasn't the case with this player. Instead, he interpreted the skill to apply to Krav Maga-style combat situation awareness. And because I am of the opinion that no successful roll should be wasted, he would find something to his advantage each time he used Notice in combat, typically resulting in a bonus or other advantage in the following round.

Although this isn't how Notice is supposed to work, and it can result in some serious metagaming, I'm going to allow it. When a player suggests a dramatic detail for a situation and can back it up with the roll of the dice, who am I to prevent it? Anything that engages a player in active storytelling shouldn't be discouraged.

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