Life is full of surprises.
I like predictability just as much as the next person. Probably even more than most. However, there’s nothing like the unexpected or unanticipated to liven things up and make them more interesting.
One of the things that keeps me coming back to RPGs is not knowing just what is going to happen. This is far more than not knowing what the game master has planned for us. It’s so much more than that, and very often it has nothing to do with that at all.
Every person at the table has the ability to do the unexpected. One of my great joys as a game master is having players blindside me with things I never would’ve thought of. In fact it is just as enjoyable when I am a fellow player not in the game master’s chair. But even then I’m still only scratching the surface of what I’m talking about.
Very often I play to find out what is going to happen. This is very different than playing to create what happens. Both can yield surprising results and are equally valid ways to play. Both can involve improvisation on some level. However, there is a certain magic that happens when we play to find out.
Put a bunch of us together in a group and the whole quickly becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Just by looking at the ingredients that are going into the game session you can’t predict what will come out. You have to… play to find out.
There is a certain dynamic magic in the moment as we react to each other and to the emerging events of the fiction. No one can predict just what is going to happen and surprises can come at any moment. Very often they cascade off one another in a wonderful display.
I play for those magical moments. They are so much better than anything I could dream up as a game master or as another player.