01 February 2008

Expectations frame

Robin Laws: Expectations Frame: “We often fail to establish a clear expectations frame to tell players what sorts of actions are likely to succeed in the world, and which are likely to fail.” Very true. “A session can grind to a sudden halt when players run from an obstacle they’re meant to overcome, or when they rush headlong toward one they’re meant to tackle cautiously.” I’ve been trying to let the players set the expectation frame, at least partially. I have a tendency to set up obstacles without thinking about how the players will deal with it. I want to be surprised. Then I try to roll with their ideas. Even if those ideas don’t perfectly fit the expectations frame I’d built. I also think there needs to be more talk about these issues at the table. When one player’s action seems to conflict with another player’s expectations, talk about it. I’m reminded of the veto power everyone at the table has in Wushu.

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