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Misdirecting Players

©2004 - Randal Snyder

Misdirection is the technique of making something appear one way, when the reality is something completely different.

This is one of my favorite things to do to a group. I give them a cliché' scenario to dash in and be the heroes, and if they act accordingly, end up being the villains... The point of this is to make the players THINK before leaping. Too often players do the opposite. Any others have a favorite tactic to disarm the Hack n Slash mentality?

Here's my latest favorite scenario:
A GM was asking for unusual scenarios where a curse had caused everyone in a subterranean city turn to Undead. Here was my response:

The curse may have turned them undead, but are they all mindless? Its possible that some of the undead have retained some intelligence. Perhaps one of those groups is a family on the fringes and they are found not long after having being turned. AS a result they still "look" normal, though have that grey and bluish death look. So as not to scare their young child, they pretend the illness is just something of the flesh and that "empty" and "cold" feeling is nothing to worry about. They try to keep living their lives in blissful ignorance.

The set up:
The sounds of screaming echoes off the cavern walls, its source not far off, but difficult to place. As you creep around the corner, you see a hulking figure stooped over a small child that is screaming and kicking.

The reality:
The parents of the child were playing... see what the PCs do. Keep in mind that the parents know they have been stricken with the plague but the child does not.

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