I think Drax must be my spirit animal. That’s because I like winning. Even in RPGs where there isn’t a proper win condition, I still like winning. For some people that might mean leveling all the way up to 20. For others it might mean surviving a particularly punishing combat. It might even mean betraying the rest of the party and writing an epic 17-part story about it on 4chan. But for me, it’s about coming up with an idea that “just works.”

Here’s an example. I was running the same 5e social rogue we met last week. The party fighter had been mind-whammied by my treacherous bitch of a cousin. Poor dude was magically convinced that he needed to “restrain me for my own good,” and he was prepared to use force to do it. Grappling shenanigans ensue. I manage to wriggle free, and now I’m left with the classic mind-whammied-party-member choice: do I try and beat the stupid out of my ally, or do I come up with another plan? Well if you know 5e rogues, you know that the class comes equipped with something called cunning action. Long story short, the ability basically says “you always win the footrace.”

“I’m just so terribly confused,” I say, hand to head. “If only a big strong father figure could talk me out of my strong-willed ways.” I feign crying, flip my cousin the bird, and begin to run away from the encounter. The mind-whammied fighter follows, muttering curses about “this wayward girl.” The rest of the party follows, and my bemused DM is left to watch the farce play out. The plan “just worked,” and I was allowed to write the scene as I saw fit.

For me, that’s the most rewarding thing about RPGs. My DM could have sent reinforcements to chase after us. He could have dropped the portcullis and trapped us in the courtyard. He could have simply given the fighter PC a chance to roll Insight vs my Deception skill. But he didn’t do any of these things. He was amused enough by my idea that he actually ceded a little bit of his control, allowing a player to dictate the scene. My contribution to the mutual story was good enough that it “just worked.” My friends were entertained, my narrative input was adopted, and I earned the ultimate thumbs up: a handwave.

How about the rest of you guys? Have you ever come up with a cool/clever/surprising idea that earned a, “That’s awesome! You know what? It just works,” from your GM? What was it?


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