Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Peter Mork © 2013

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

Welcome to the 170th edition of the Guild Companion. This month we continue our year-long series, Mind Over Matter (a psionics companion for RMSS/RMFRP), with the School of Self-Mastery, which consists of six new psion lists. We also present a necromantic sword (the Blades of Unlife) and the undead it spawns.

One plot device that's fun to pull out on occasion is amnesia. This device lets you, the GM, engage in a little rail-roading. The PCs wake up with no memory of how they get where they are, or even why.

When you use amnesia you need to provide a way for the PCs to piece together their actions from the past. When our nascent gods were trapped in the Palace at Kish, every time they tried to escape, their father would wipe their memories and send them back to bed. This had been going on for a very long time. Sometimes it would take weeks before the god-lings tried to escape. Other times mere hours.

In this case, I let the PCs find messages they had written to themselves in the past. Thus, I could let them discover the need for secrecy and nudge them in the direction of escape.

More recently, I was running a Ravenloft adventure. The PCs pursued their nemesis to the gates of Ravenloft. The next thing they knew, they were waking up days later. There are no "notes-to-self" this time. Instead, the PCs need to poke around town, trying to figure out who their allies might be, to determine why they're here in the first place.

In both cases, the plot device has worked well, in part because it's been used sparingly. As noted above, amnesia takes control away from the players, which will quickly grate if overused.

Until next month, may all of your Large criticals be open-ended.
Peter Mork
General Editor