#RPGaDay2020 – Day 23: Banner

Today’s prompt in our unusual approach to prompt order for #RPGaDay2020 will be Banner. Everyone else will be on the ‘edge’ today, but not here. That word is in our future. Our present is in the hands of the players~

I have not used this infographic this year, but I still think of it as *the* infographic

With a clatter of dice, Diego’s player follows through on his threat to set off a self-destruct protocol in A N D I the homicidal AI (created by one of Lemmon’s many jilted former girlfriends) using a code that he obtained very early in the first session, and his usual cleverness.

I have been waiting for this moment, as this is where the whole feel of play shifts. If anything, it reminds me of the moment where you crest the peak of a mountain and begin the descent. Each step to get to this point has been a sort of moment by moment transfer of vision until what began in one player’s mind (mine as the GM) has been transmitted to the other for them to not only embellish, but also to lend a sense of solidity to. Imagination has passed through a gauntlet of description and improvisation through collaboration into – for these moments spent in play – actualization. We all see it. We all accept it. We all act upon it, and in so doing leave our mark upon it.

The shared memory of these moments is why we play.

The background fear, which worked its way up to dread, is now not a bully, beating them down and telling them to run home to work on the Ecto-Van. Now it is a target and the group is in motion – as the ghostbusters – to knock that target down. They are ready to respond to the call and let everyone know that they are not afraid.

With them on watch, you shouldn’t be afraid either.

See the source image
Let’s run some red lights!

On Day 5 when we looked at the prompt tribute, that had a very different feeling than today’s prompt of banner. Tribute is external. It is recognition from someone else. A banner is something that you fly yourself and expect others to gather round, or oppose. It is a personal statement. Our comedic and amusingly-arrogant yet still self-deprecating ghostbusters have been pushed far enough and now they have set a self-appointed date with a ghost. First hurdle? Knocking down the evil AI.

Diego’s player is all about the interaction, so rather than taking his success narration and wrapping it up in a simple description, he sets things up to snowball through the whole group. Ray and Dunhill end up making Moves rolls to deal with hardware all over the room to help terminate A N D I, and Lemmon is roped into being a distraction through his Cool by arguing with the interface.

I am glad he went that route. When I have a tight grip on the reins at an early point establishing a scene or setting, this is the sort of interaction I like to set up. To see it reflected back is a strong indication that the players like it when it happens. Sometimes all the feedback in the world is worth much less than observing what the players choose to do when we are fully in play and they have their heads.

Although the AI, A N D I, played a far less significant role in the scenario than it was capable of doing, the players seemed very satisfied with being able to step in and pre-empt its shenanigans. The dice were on their side, their plans and attentiveness worked for them, and they were motivated. In a very real way, they were sending a message to the villain that the ghostbusters were coming.

Walking out of the server room (Area 15) into a meeting room (Area 14) as the physical and digital devastation laid on the AI takes hold, the attitude coming off of the group is like a slow-motion hero walk with explosions in the background.

“Maybe next time you won’t blackmail someone with a positron collider, huh?” Lemmon gloats as Gray takes a board marker from the tray and draws a quick ghostbusters logo on the white board.

“It’s the little things,” Dunhill says.

Linda’s mandibles clatter.

“Alright!” Lemmon continues, not listening. “Let’s show this alien plant how we do things downtown!”

Questions: What is the right time for a ‘banner’ to fly? Where does it come from and what does it signify?

Video: Before tomorrow, local time, a video will be posted below~

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