Smarter Than Human

Where new Keepers can ask "stupid" questions without fear of hazing.
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fox01313
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Re: Smarter Than Human

Post by fox01313 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:45 pm

Glad that Kenneth Hite put his thoughts on it & like how he summarized it up on the MUP episode at least with the ones smarter than the players, makes it easy to try to outwit them now.
"That's funny, usually the blood gets off on the second floor." -Mr. Burns in The Shinning episode (Treehouse of horror V)

Eibon
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Re: Smarter Than Human

Post by Eibon » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:35 am

I think there are two parts to this: what we might call "reputation" and "action".

"Reputation" is the easy one: If I have a character who is a brain surgeon, I, the Keeper, don't need to know how to perform brain surgery to play the part. I just have to give the impression I can. In terms of aliens, this may be that they have obviously more advanced technology, or can perform certain tasks more efficiently than humans, like metal arithmetic, or understanding of physics. Sci-Fi films will often show an alien/robot reading a book in a few seconds and being able to quote passages back afterward, as an indication of greater intelligence. Most Lovecraftian aliens will have a reputation as being smarter than humans, not least because they appear to have had advanced genetic technologies millions (possibly billions) of years ago, or have travelled through vast regions of space, something we have barely started to do with unmanned machines.

"Action" is the more difficult one. This is where you need to use the space between game sessions to work out all the angles and come up with as good a plan as you can. If they players make a plan, you can assume the aliens will have considered that as a option and counter it (although you need to be careful to leave a way of the players succeeding). Likewise, consider someone like Sherlock Holmes, he appears to be smart because the author makes sure that all his guesses are correct. When he says, "This note was written by a man who was drunk, because of the shaky handwriting," he is right, but it could be that the note was written by a sober man who was being joggled about while travelling in a cab? In the real world Sherlock would get lots of things wrong, and therefore not be as smart as he seems. In a fictional situation, however, the author/keeper can ensure that his guesses are right all the time. An alien might likewise guess where the players have hidden the Silver Key because he's clever! As has been mentioned, aliens can make mistakes because they don't understand cultural elements, which can be as simple as not understanding the etiquette of hat wearing, to not being able to understand creatures that only exist in three of the dimensions that make up the Universe (four if we count Time), but should not be distracted by simple ruses. Also, many Lovecraftian aliens have different sensory organs than humans, so their perception of the world would also be different.

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Re: Smarter Than Human

Post by SamS » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:34 pm

I wish I could bottle all of these ideas and later on, when I need a good idea just uncork the bottle.
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