Dungeons and Dragons is by my estimation the most entertaining way to waste a person’s time. Unlike any video or computer game the options are essentially unlimited for what the players can or will do. Of course this means that the Game Master also has more options than they can reasonably be expected to react to. But there is one tried and true rule about D&D; GMs love to screw with the players.
There are infinite ways for a GM to mess around with their player’s heads but by far the best way is to let something unexpectedly good happen for them and then yank it out from under them while they are still grinning over how easy that was. A good example of this is the hilarity we had in a game that was being GMed by the longest-playing player in the campaign I normally run. He had set it up for one of the other players to become king of a new and formerly unheard of realm and then the very next week the actual heir showed up. It was glorious. Now the character that would be king introduces himself as “the former Interim King of Pandesia”. Big laughs all around every time and all hinged upon a twist in the story.
Now not all plot twists are necessarily hilarious, at least not immediately to anyone except the Game Master. The players last week managed to tee up one of the finest plot twists of all time and aren’t even aware of it yet. Luckily only two of them bother to read this blog and even so there was so much happening that they wouldn’t be able to see from which direction the twist is coming. There is always a sense of fulfilled delight when a good storyline sets itself out. Not exactly the way Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith would say “I love when a plan comes together” because the GM isn’t the one that has the most say in how the story falls into place if the players are all doing their part. In order to really provide a twist in the plot a GM has to seize the perfect moment when it presents itself. I personally didn’t even see the opportunity until I was mulling over the game the next day. The moment I saw it I couldn’t resist pulling at the threads of it to see what exactly I could do to maximize the impact of it on my players.
As I mentioned there probably won’t be a lot of cheers when the twist is revealed. More than likely I’ll be hearing a chorus of “dick move, man!” but I assure you that I will be enjoying it immensely. Heck, I went to a lot of work over the years to hone and fine tune my villains. Kind of like spending weeks waxing your classic corvette but never taking it out for a drive to the lake. Only my classic corvette is a bright green with gold trim and it levitates while it casts fireball.