Tomes in Amber
On Narrative Embellishment
In one of my favorite gaming podcasts I heard a moment which got me thinking about the amount of control players can exercise over a scene in the game.
The party was chasing a thief down some crowded streets and was mechanically involved in a skill challenge where the goal was to close the distance and capture the rogue. One of the players decided he was going to try to bring down a store-front awning to fall onto the thief and entangle him by firing a magic missile at the knots holding the awning in place. He rolled an Arcana check.
This example illustrates creative use of skills. Though magic missile is technically an at-will attack power, it is governed by arcane magic, so the skill choice was appropriate and the use was creative.
The second important point is the awning. At no point did the dungeon master actually say “There’s an awning,” nor did the player ask before making his statement and rolling his check. In essence the player created that part of the scene and then interacted with it and, since his addition was appropriate, it was totally valid.
Get creative. Invent things. Not just about the broader world, but about the scenes as we play them.
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