Plot Twist Cards
Plot Twist Cards
Plot Twist Cards add a new storytelling element to the game, allowing the players to bring their own twists to an adventure’s plot. Each card provides a minor story-altering idea along with a few options players can either use as presented or take inspiration from to craft similarly themed suggestions that affect in-game events. Every Plot Twist Card can be interpreted in countless ways, allowing players to suggest minor alterations to a game’s events that a GM might add or adapt however best fits the story’s needs. Such alterations might bring about an added bit of luck to improve the situation for the PC’s or up the ante to create even greater challenges – it’s all up to how the cards are played.
Using Plot Twist Cards
Each player will start with one card randomly drawn from the Plot Twist Deck. Each time the player character gains a level, they may draw an additional card from the deck. Cards are held until they are used, and can be played at any time, even during other characters turns or scenes. Only one plot twist card can be used per round of combat.
Each Plot Twist Card implies a certain theme or type of event. When playing a Plot Twist Card, a player suggests to the GM an in-game event or development in the spirit of the card’s theme. The GM then takes the player’s Plot Twist Card and may choose to implement, alter, or ignore the suggestion as befits the needs of the game. How players interpret their cards and how the GM might alter suggested events can vary wildly but should encourage collaboration and a shared storytelling experience. If ever a game’s needs make it necessary to ignore a suggestion, I will allow another draw from the Plot Twist Deck immediately.
Alternatively, each Plot Twist Card also notes a specific mechanical effect. A player may forgo making a plot-related suggestion to the GM and employ these rules to affect a character. Some effects may only make sense when the card is used on a player’s own turn, but most cards can be used on anyone’s turn. If a card is used to affect a die roll, the card should be played before the die is rolled, not after.
If a card is played in a way that makes for an exceptional storytelling or role playing experience, an additional draw from the deck may be granted by the GM. This is far more likely to happen if the Plot Twist has negative consequences for the characters. Plot Twists that directly target another players character must be agreed upon by that player as well as the GM.
Examples of Play
Tom’s barbarian is surrounded by foes and is down to his last few hit points. In an act of desperation, he plays the “Lucky Day” Plot Twist Card, announcing that the ceiling caves in, killing the foes around him but leaving the barbarian unharmed. The GM feels that this is pushing things too far, so he modifies Tom’s idea. The GM announces that the barbarian’s sword accidentally strikes the ceiling, causing dust and debris to fall. The foes surrounding Tom’s character think the ceiling might collapse, so they cautiously fall back. This gives Tom’s character a few precious rounds to rally before his foes realize that the ceiling isn’t coming down.
Later in the adventure, the party is battling a powerful sorcerer, and Jessica is concerned that if the villain has time to cast another spell, it could be the beginning of the end for the party. So she plays her “Tipping Point” Plot Twist Card, using the rules-specific effect “Target delays all actions until the end of the round.” The GM has the sorcerer delay his actions until the end of the round, letting the party get in a full round of actions before the sorcerer casts his next spell.