A couple days ago, I wrote about The Fun Is In Yes! Today, I’ll give an example that shows how invisible this can be to players.
In my face to face campaign with my sons and the girlfriend of my oldest son, they kill creatures and skin them, decapitate them, etc. and then have things made.
For example, due to really bad rolls when they encountered a minotaur returning to its lair, it could not hit them and they killed it. Being a large and impressive monster, they took its head and brought it back to town. They wanted to take it to a taxidermist and have it mounted.
When I created the town, I had generated the different businesses and skills available in town. A taxidermist was not one of them. However, since the town is on the marches between the kingdom and the ancient abandoned city, and serving adventurers is one of its industries, it made sense to have a taxidermist. So I picked a name and decided what part of town the shop was in. They haggled with the owner over a price, and arrange for a time to pick it up.
They go back a few days later, just to check on progress, only to find a crowd gathered around the taxidermist’s shop. It turns out that the taxidermist was charging to give people a chance to look at this head in progress. All the normal benches and things in the shop were cleared out to focus on this one head and allow as many paying onlookers as possible. This little twist greatly enhanced their enjoyment.
The agreement was to mount the head on something to make it easy to mount on their wagon behind the seat and above the heads of the driver and passenger. This sight alone makes an impression on less powerful foes they encounter. They later added an ogre head to their wagon display, prepared by the same taxidermist.
They fought two giant weasels, who again couldn’t roll to hit, and how their heads and hides are hooded cloaks.
I am sure, if we ever resume play, that they will skin and decapitate more creatures to add to their collection.
The twist of adding an unplanned NPC expert hireling increased the fun for both the players, and me.
There was no good reason not to bring the taxidermist into existence. Had I said, “No”, the mental image of two preserved monstrous heads mounted on a wagon, with a driver and passenger wearing giant weasel cloaks would not exist. That’s part of the fun of the collaborative storytelling that is RPG’s.