How to Curse a Player's Character without the Player Knowning It...
I find that my players never play their characters properly when charmed, or not under their own control, or the like.
So, one session, I had a player go insane. I rolled randomly. Paranoia. Oh... goody.
Here's the twist, I never told the player he was paranoid, because he'd NEVER play it correctly... he may want to, but he'd never do it as if his character really were paranoid.
So, I started passing notes to the player, having him hear things that never happened. Then I started passing notes (they were on a ship at the time) "overhearing" the crew on the ship saying that they heard "The elf says he's gonna kill one of his comrades to steal their treasure... can you believe it?" Well, the elf was a little shady up til now, so it seemed plausable.
After I passed the note to the paranoid player, I passed a note to the player who's character was the elf, saying, "Lets talk outside."
So, the paranoid player thinks the elf really IS up to something, because he's incapable of seeing that out of character and effecting him IN character.
Outside, I talk to the elf's player... so, hows the weather? Hows school going? Oh, yeah... the mage is paranoid, but I cant tell him... he thinks you're plotting to kill someone to take the treasure... so lets stand out here and look like we're discussing assassination plans. It took all he had to not fall over laughing.
One by one, the other players came outside, and were told the same thing,
each laughing their asses off. The paranoid guy thought they were all plotting.
They dock, nothing happens... they go into a bar.
The bartender glances their way, nods, and goes into the back to get a keg.
The paranoid guy is told that he is looked at by the bartender, the bartender looks at someone else in the bar, nods, and shuffles off quickly into the back room.
Well, he goes apeshit, jumping over the bar, kicking the back door down... it all ends in "Musta been a misunderstanding."
Now he's getting notes about how he's overhearing people talking about killing them for their treasure.
Next day, a serving girl comes up with the food, and reaches under the cover to get the silver plate. Well, the mage sees her grabbing a dagger instead. He casts some crazy damaging spell, killing her, and goes apeshit again... now everythings getting bad, they check the girl... just food, no dagger... now he's starting to doubt himself.
Long story short... he gets badly beated up in yet ANOTHER paranoid misunderstanding, and the priest's heal spell cures the insanity... and all is revealed to the player, who sits there with a "Boy, how dumb am I?" look on his face as I and the rest of the players hit the floor laughing.
That was fun... couldnt pull it again with the same group... but I cursed a character with paranoia and the player never even knew about it :)
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