D is for Delusion and Dream

Given the amount of mad stuff happening in my life in the past 7 months this whole “one post a day” was, in hindsight, quite delusional. As a zen master insightfully said:

The problem is that you think you have time.

And yes, I will never get back the time lost. And neither will you. I dunno if I’ll manage to talk about Bandits and Chaos; one can only hope. I’d like to be able to say something smart about priorities and quality of fun but, frankly, words kinda fail me at the moment, as if the effect of the potion of delusion just waned…

Talking of delusions, in game are hard to pull off as usually affect just a single character as you either have good players that can handle knowing being fooled without exploiting it in game, or you have to pull off some mad mind trick, by telling the player of the deluded character in secret that he perceives a different reality, but not necessarily the wrong one. Time-honoured practices of secret note-passing and having a wee talk with the player in another room will do the trick, but will give off evident signals to everybody (and are best kept short or to low-intensity play sections as they really slow down the pace of the game). Of course you can inform other players about the strange behaviour of their fellow adventurer by describing it getting back first, keeping the misfortunate one privy to the conversation.

The neat part of doing this is that, if done correctly, the deluded one will not know that he’s on the mad drugs, suggesting that some kind of vision or “ultimate knowledge and power of the cosmos” has been imparted on the PC will do wonders for attention-seeking, power-hungry players, and of course there are very few things better than the whole party being talked into doing some mad errand by the deluded one.

Another option is to have players knowing the situation and exploit it for maximum LOLs. YMMV

The nice aspect of the above is that it can be applied not only to delusions but also to dreams and, for maximum shenanigans, to real visions which, of course!, can be induced by a malicious, mischievous spellcaster. And of course the DM can just make up his mind about the nature of what’s going on not only post facto, but also changing it at any given time. After all dreams and visions share many of the hallucinatory qualities of delusions.

PS: I have the tradition, usually when notes are passed around, of passing a note to a player at random. The note will say something like “don’t let anyone know that this note is blank, just pass it back to me”. A well known specimen of these particular notes has been used since early 2000 and nowadays is passed to a player when the everybody at the table is laughing already, for maximum hilarity. Ah, nerdy in-jokes.


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