So I’m looking for some insight from a player’s perspective. Here’s the (completely hypothetical) situation:
Let’s say you are invited to play a rpg. For the purpose of our discussion let’s presume that game is Top Secret.
Somewhere along the way you realize you’re no longer really playing TS:SI, but instead have been shifted into an actual game of Call of Cthulhu a la Delta Green or X-Files. The games listed don’t really matter; maybe the reverse is true, you start with a gritty CoC game only to find yourselves playing a light-hearted scenario of Those Meddling Kids.
Because each of these games brings with it a specific feel to the situations faced by the characters, when the change occurs and is finally realized, as a player, what would your response to a classic Bait and Switch be?
Assuming the following to be true:
- The reason for the switch is either in the hands of the GM for some plot purpose, or is the outgrowth of the player’s interaction with the scenario.
- The shift doesn’t negate any previous history either in the game world or for any specific character.
- The reason for the shift from one genre to another is completely at least somewhat plausible; perhaps a stretch, but not requiring a complete “A wizard did it.” explanation.
Let’s break it down a bit further with some additional questions:
- What if you knew the game was a “one-off” session? What if the game was the premise for a long standing campaign?
- What if the GM planned to shift the game from one rpg to another all along? What if the shift was a natural conclusion of how the player’s reacted to the setting?
- What if the game you initially thought you were playing wasn’t your cup of tea? What if the game you found yourself now playing wasn’t something you would have agreed to play had you known this was the GM’s plan from the start?
- What if the game feel was a significant shift? What if the shift was more subtle?
How might you, as a player, respond to such a tactic and why? And finally, if you’d be amenable to such a ploy, what advice would you give a GM on how to make the shift more palatable to players in general?