The human mind is a wonderful thing. It is, after all, our best asset. But it can also be our worst enemy too, especially when it goes and throws a curve ball right in the middle of a gaming session.
Picture the scene. We’re playing classic-era D&D straight from the Rules Cyclopedia (praise it’s holy name) and our heroes are all 14th level or thereabouts. They are camped on the Plains of Gallowmere where they’ve put out a Call to All Nations to send troops to do Fair and Honest Battle against the forces of Evil. Against them is amassed the hordes of chaos itself – Orcs, Goblins, Broos, servitor demons and worse, all under the command of the King Who Would Be God.
Hey, it’s classic D&D. We use a lot of capital letters here, ok?
Me (oh humble GM) say this:
“The early morning mist brings with it the muffled sound of movement. All around your encampment you see soldiers arriving – barbarians from the North, Elven Samurai and dwarven footsoldiers from the hills of Kranagor Vale….”
I continue, describing the scene as the players start to work out War Machine stats for ’em all. Then, it happens. My brain goes and farts, replacing the word I want to say with the word IT wants to say.
“… along the ridge of the hills, you see a column of Knights in Flashing Armour…”
Shining! I meant shining! Not flashing! Damn you, brain.
When this happens there’s three possible outcomes – hope the players didn’t notice (yeah. Like that ever happens); insta-retcon by correcting yourself and moving on quickly (but where’s the fun in that); or just run with it.
Me, I chose to run with it.
Before I know it we’ve invented an order of Knights so confident in their prowess that their armour flashes like some discoball in human form, announcing their presence to evil-doers everywhere. Their warhorses are all colour-blind and specially trained to handle the flashing figure on their backs. The knights fight with great tactical skill as they can clearly see where each other is, even in the heat of battle. They are especially effective against darkness-loving creatures (such as orcs) who can scarcely look at the pink-yellow-orange-red strobing armour.
I love this game.
Oh, and the battle? They won, of course.