Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Target Focus

A scenario: Jake(the GM) is running a game for his friends Mike, Zak, and Eliza. Eliza just walked into her apartment to see a whole pile of drugs and illegal weapons sitting in the center of her living room.
Eliza: Um...What is all this stuff doing in my living room?
Jake: you don't know, you didn't put it there as far as you know.
Eliza: Mike, Zak, did you do this?
Mike: Nope
Zak: What? No.
Jake: You here someone knocking at the door.
Eliza: I stand still and see if they go away.
Jake: Someone says through the door, “Its the police open up!”
Eliza: Shit! I jump through the window.
Jake: you do remember that your apartment is on the fourth floor right?
Eliza: Well could I make a rope out of something?
Jake: The cops are at the door, do you think you have time?
Eliza: Damn...could I make a parachute out of the sheets?

It goes on like that. The player gets more and more focused on the one solution they have in their head rather than deciding to try something else. I have run into this many times and I am unsure how to deal with it.

Sometimes I have tried to offer alternative options to the player. I will then be accused of railroading or attempting to manipulate the players. Other times I have kept ratcheting up the tension to attempt to cut off the steady stream of suggestions. I have then seen my players break down under the stress(it actually happened). I have never felt more like a bully then on that day. So that is out. I have basically reached the conclusion that whatever they try I will let it happen. This works...mostly. When the players realize that I am doing this they realize that they can abuse this.

I am not sure what to say about this issue. I am merely pointing out a problem I have had in gaming.