December 16th, 2006

Interactive Flashbacks

For the last few campaigns I have run I have been using what in video games are often called 'cut scenes'. Basically spots of drama that the players aren't in themselves and whose characters may not be aware of but tell part of the story that would be interesting to them. Usually I used these scenes as ways of showing the players part of the bigger picture, foreshadowing events to come or as insights into the minds of certain key NPC's

In my upcoming Dragon-Blooded game for Exalted I intend to do this as well, but I would like to extend matters further - In addition to cut-scenes (in which PC's would have no effect or direct influence) I would like to use flashbacks into the PC's past - and more to the point I would like to make them interactive.

What I mean to say is in effect I want to drag the fullness of the game back in time - with everything that means, except I am not sure what I could get away with and what I couldn't. When characters hit the table there are risks, including the ultimate risk of character death, which of course cannot occur in a flashback because if the character dies then....indeed I cannot jeopardize any of the PC's 'assets' currently in their posession because that wouldn't make any sense....a least not without ANOTHER flashback to illustrate how their assets return to their 'modern day' levels.

What do you think about this? Any ideas? Any do's and don'ts?