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I like the spontaneousness of being the DM. My players can surprise me with "Hey, I am gonna throw grenades and detonators to blow up the reactor of a capital ship." and they pass the skills checks.

I want to get back at them with the spontaneousness. Any tips? I know there are like "randomizer" cards for D&D.

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Are you looking for techniques tied to Star War Saga Edition, or are you looking for general techniques? –  SevenSidedDie Jun 23 '11 at 19:57
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I'm having a hard time understanding this question. Do you like when players surprise you with their spontaneity and would like to respond with your own spontaneity? In other words, is this a question for how to improvise challenges (as opposed to planning out challenges before play)? –  cr0m Jun 24 '11 at 21:36
    
I am looking for general techniques to improve my out of the blue encounter / situations. –  Joshua Burton Jun 27 '11 at 4:37
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2 Answers

It's hard to prepare for unexpected player actions. The easiest way is to look at what the players did and find logical/unexpected results from their actions. More then likely they were expecting result B from action A. But what about result C instead or along with result B?

Additionally throwing additional complications in can make the story interesting as long as you don't suddenly make something impossible to do.

Relating to the example with the reactor: Assuming the player's "goal" is to blow up the ship once their grenades have gone off an engineer attempts to eject the reactor core to save his ship or guards come to investigate the explosion. Also the players might have trouble getting back to the ship due to explosions/loss of power.

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Best way is to force them to deal with the logical consequences of their action. It's even better if it's a consequence they hadn't thought of or planned for.

If the logical consequence is a TPK, you can go with that, or throw in some Deus ex Machina to save the PCs and keep the game going (but penalize the players in crafty ways).

(edit) Didn't read the question correctly. If you want to throw spontaneity at them, I have a few ideas:

  • An NPC, or group of NPCs, that is also engaging in spontaneous action, that somehow always manages to inconvenience the PCs. A cult? Pirates? Anarchists?
  • environmental effects. (ion storm? meteor shower? solar flare?)
  • Systems malfunctions, either in their own ships or in the ship they're sneaking around -- some of these will help, some will hurt, some could be either (artificial gravity malfunction)

Make a chart ahead of time and then roll for what happens -- if it's something that would TPK or make mission completion impossible or a cinch, you might want to re-roll.

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I suspect that what the asker is trying to get at is how to do that (especially on the fly, within a session). Could you expand your answer a bit in the "how" department? –  AceCalhoon Jun 24 '11 at 15:56
    
Thanks @AceCalhoon. I expanded my post some. –  Snowbody Jun 27 '11 at 15:42
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