So as I have decided I would like to try and do some more player centric posts until either I determine them useless, offend a GM who may or may not read my blog, or until I can get some REAL content. Bear with me, these posts are going to have stories and anecdotes and references to rulings or whatnot. I'll try and be quick about mentioning the rule set in advance so nobody gets confused.
This post is going to be on subtlety. I hope my GM doesn't mind my picking apart something even he admitted was not a success (perhaps not for the same reasons as myself). Especially given it may have a long standing effect. I'm fairly certain his players don't read this content.
The system is Savage Worlds, but mainly I would like to deal with story telling. In particular my GMs attempt to create a low magic setting. A setting where magic and supernatural are uncommon if not rare. It at it's base was set near the gold rush period in western US.
I gave this GM a piece of advice before we started. If you want to ensure the players believe in a low magic setting if they are surprised by magic and it becomes a special or rare thing, first and foremost you need to have mundane adventures. Preferably multiple mundane adventures. Furthermore, I feel like you should just lie. Just straight up lie to the player's face. No, no there is no magic.
The second the GM mentioned that magic existed, one of the players jumped on the possibility of magic and immediately began attempting to create a character that could use it. Then when denied, a character that could use it in the future. And so on and so forth for much longer than it should have gone on.
This felt like a poor start to me. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think the effect would have been better achieved with a lie, or a lie of omission or something to that effect. This problem was compounded about half an hour into our first adventure. A mundane adventure by my advice. Around when the army of cultists (obviously cultists) surrounded our inn, started burning it down and asked us for a 'something' that is clearly a reference to a religious item.
Personally I would have gone with a cave in. Or a search for a kidnapper. Or perhaps surviving a train robbery? They're all pretty epic if done right, AND mundane as hell. In fact, perhaps after several mundane adventures a gang of ruffians with matching tattoos shows up. Then things start to get strange. Just strange enough it could be edge logic. Swamp gas and whatnot, then bam, almost undeniable magic for one scene if possible, then gone, out like a light with the climax you have hopefully achieved.
It's not easy, and the GM agrees the adventure didn't go as well as he would have liked. And it is his game so perhaps he didn't really want mundane.
There you have it, a player post. Hopefully if anyone was looking for one of these I could get some feedback on how I could improve.