"A Procedure for Play" - from Into the Odd's creator

A nice, short statement of the way a GM can interact with the players' requests for action:


This has a fair deal of overlap with Vincent Baker's "MC Moves", both in style and content. (MC Moves are more general-purpose, and contain a lot of techniques this one does not, but this procedure organizes them in order of importance, and can function as a checklist or flowchart, and has the advantage of simplicity, as well.)

What's your "procedure for play", when you play in a certain style? Is it better expressed as a list of "moves" or as flowchart?


  • My GM style is:

    * When they ask for something, consider giving it to them.
    * If that's too easy, give it to them with strings attached.
    * If that's not enough, tell them what it will take to get it.

    This goes for information (where the strings attached is "bad news") as well.

    Dice come out when they ACT.
  • - Paint a scene. Describe likely sensory experiences.

    - Introduce threats and dilemmas. Based on what they want, what kind of things might close opportunities for them, or become problems later?

    -When they act and there's nothing at risk (relevant to the stakes of the genre) describe the consequences. Imply rippling effects and make a point to follow up on them.

    -When they act and there's a clear risk or potential complication that they might be able to mitigate, they roll. Make clear exactly what's at risk.

    -Listen to the outcome of their roll. How did their action play out now that the fortune is settled?

    -Describe the consequences. Imply rippling effects and make a point to follow up on them.

    -If they describe an action that seems impossible, or an outcome that doesn't align with the terms of the role, provide more context and listen to how they adjust the description.

    - Paint the new scene. Describe likely sensory experiences.
  • @2097, I know you like to think in algorithms. You might enjoy this thread!
Sign In or Register to comment.