Top-of-my-head encounter advice for Silent Titans
Running an Encounter
An encounter is any time the player characters come into contact with something potentially lethal, dramatic, interesting, useful, active or complicated. The exact borders of what it and is not an ‘encounter’ blur a little, if a nice old lady pulls out a knife then a social situations can turn into an encounter, if the PC’s bluff or persuade a potentially deadly enemy then a tactical situation can become a social one.
In Legions Fort, almost everything will be a social situation, inside a Titan, almost everything will be an encounter.
The Into the Odd ruleset which powers Silent Titans is not designed with elaborate tactical complexity in mind, this has been sacrificed for simplicity of apprehension and rapidity of decision, with the hope that the freed up cognitive surplus goes into investigation of the imagined world.
When running a combat encounter most of the interesting complexity comes from the environment, the social and personal situation, the strange nature of the opponent and the use of various simple and unusual objects, from rope to machine guns.
Here are a few fragments of typical old-school advice;
· It doesn’t have to start with an attack.
o Maybe the PCs become aware of a strange sensory element.
o Maybe they have to make a bad choice and expose themselves to danger.
· Make a sketch map.
o Make the map interesting.
o Its good if there are levels, things to climb and fall down.
o Its good if parts of the map are separated, by a creek, a cliff, ruins, a fallen tree, strange rails etc.
o Its good if there are things to run in and out of, things to hide inside, cover and occluded spaces.
o Its good if there are things held in tension, like things held by ropes, things leaning against other things, large things that could roll downhill, things that could easily tip over, elements that can flow and escape like water, animals, oil or fire,
o And of course its good if things can collapse or burn down, or break.
· If an opponent can pick someone up, throw them, mutate them, blind them or alter them somehow rather than kill them, then that’s good.
· Remind the players its always ok to run.
· The advice about decisions, dilemmas and consequences all applies to combat as much as anything else; “You can try to save your friend, but it will expose you to this.” “You can try to get into a better position but it will lose you time and this might happen.”
· Be honest and direct about risks and dangers.
· By sympathetic and supportive, but roll openly and never flake a bad result.
· And don’t do their work for them.