View Full Version : Mulligans, Bandaids & RetCons - Gamerstable Ep95

02-05-2013, 09:51 AM
Sometimes you need a do-over and sometimes they can really ruin a game. As many GMs have found, the quick fix, the re-roll and the outright redaction can come into play throughout a campaign. Are they beneficial or can they be more trouble than they are worth?

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02-10-2013, 11:54 AM
we have found that it is more fun to allow retcons, more often of character builds rather than plot history... there are a number of entities willing to grant your wishes... but can you pay the price? and even if you can... will you be happy with the consequences of your choice?

this makes it more interesting for players, the dm, and for the overall story. for example, one of my characters was slain while fighting a kraken attacking the vessel that the party was traveling upon. being a pyrokinetic, he was always seasick, did not enjoy the overwhelming presence of so much water, and had a very limited ability to burn anything while on a wooden ship. not wanting to lose that character, i worked with the dm, and we came up with an interesting solution: my character had a vision of sinking to the bottom of the ocean, and then sinking through a volcanic vent into the vast magma sea underneath the ocean where he was met by some entity of fire and molten material and offered a chance to return to life if he would dedicate himself to the pursuit of a particular prestige class and associated ideals until he achieved a certain degree of competence, and some task(s) after he achieved it. he accepted, and found himself fished out of the ocean by the party and just short of death, instead of actually dead.

he had a new mark on his chest, as if he had been burned, and he discovered that he had lost some abilities, but gained new ones. this turned into quite a surprise to the rest of the party when he parted with his beloved sword saying he didn't need it anymore. and even more surprised was everyone when he first manifested the mind sword.

in d&d terms, he was a psy-war/pyrokinetic before he "died", and he lost some levels of psy-war, kept the levels of pyrokinetic, gained just enough levels of athasian soulknife, and was required to pursue levels of illumine soul. i was unhappy with the exact mix of abilities, and wanted it broadened out a bit.

so we worked the retcon into the storyline, and now have an interesting future plothook when this entity decides it wants the rest of its' payment for saving his life. ^^

02-12-2013, 09:38 AM
Great example.

It is always better when there is a story/story hook reason for the retcon. Turning an unfortunate instance into a story idea is what it's all about.

On the flip side of that is where we had a player who got very upset when his character (any character) died. The GM used that as motivation and gave him a magic sword that kept him alive. The sword soon became the focus because they determined that it had nefarious plans for the PC. The player wanted his character to finally die, but the sword wouldn't let him.

02-13-2013, 05:26 PM
and of course, there is always the... "details"... of how it won't let you die.........