Narrating the Game

Narration is the description by the Game Master of the action as it unfolds in response to characters. It moves the game forward. No result should end a character’s options unless they are dead – there should be a hint of what options or next steps are present. Beware of absolute results which end options and story alike; this can be a sure warning that the game may lose its enjoyment for participants. Narrating the interaction in the game space is both a Player and Game Master responsibility, though its emphasis can vary.

Narrating Outcomes

GM’s should always add flavor, even to simple yes and no (ex: “Do I break the door down?”) situations – narration it what makes it feel interactive and dynamic. A GM must think about the real-world consequences of actions (ex: “Yes; the door shatters and you fall to the floor. You pick yourself up and begin to examine the area. You see a hallway on the far wall… after a few moments, an alarm bell begins to ring in the distance…”). A good GM will take into account the intent of the action and player, making rulings without perverting the course of actions using a literal interpretation.

Yes, And…: Fully positive intended outcome plus additional positive consequences.

Yes…: Fully positive intended outcome for PCs. The character accomplishes everything they set out to do, and the situation resolves itself exactly how they thought it would.

Yes, But…: fully positive intended outcome plus unintended negative consequences. The character accomplished their main goal, but the results may not be what they exactly expected.

No, But…: fully negative/failed outcome plus unintended negative consequences. The character may have failed, but the result may be that they may try again through other means or the attempt itself produced some alternative outcome.

No…: fully negative/failed outcome for PCs. The character failed in all aspects of their goal and intended result.

No, And…: Full negative/failed outcome plus additional positive consequences.

Obvious Outcomes

Given that some circumstances prohibit any real chance of success and many actions can be completed automatically with the right time, materials, and capability a GM may rule that an action has an obvious outcome as success or failure without any check. Obvious results may bypass strict rules in favor of a reasoned outcome; i.e. a target asleep may be killed by a dagger, though the weapon could not normally kill based solely on the damage it does in combat. If unsure, consider obvious outcomes to represent an Extraordinary Success.

All Game materials are built with the documented Incarna Game Design elements.