Player Secrets in D&D | Achieving a Satisfying Dramatic Reveal | Wandering DMs S06 E15

Wandering DMs
Player Secrets in D&D | Achieving a Satisfying Dramatic Reveal | Wandering DMs S06 E15

Dan and Paul discuss how to play a character in an RPG with a dramatic secret. How can we include the rest of the players in the fun without giving away too much? When do we reveal the secret to create the most satisfying dramatic moment?

Humans attempt to consciously conceal aspects of themselves from others due to shame, or from fear of violence, rejection, harassment, loss of acceptance, or loss of employment. Humans may also attempt to conceal aspects of their own self which they are not capable of incorporating psychologically into their conscious being. Excessive secrecy is often cited as a source of much human conflict. One may have to lie in order to hold a secret, which might lead to psychological repercussions. The alternative, declining to answer when asked something, may suggest the answer and may therefore not always be suitable for keeping a secret.

Anagnorisis is a moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery. Aristotle was the first writer to discuss the uses of anagnorisis, with peripeteia caused by it. He considered it the mark of a superior tragedy, as when Oedipus killed his father and married his mother in ignorance, and later learned the truth, or when Iphigeneia in Tauris realizes in time that the strangers she is to sacrifice are her brother and his friend, and refrains from sacrificing them. Aristotle considered these complex plots superior to simple plots without anagnorisis or peripeteia, such as when Medea resolves to kill her children, knowing they are her children, and does so.

This description uses material from the Wikipedia articles “Secrecy” and “Anagnorisis“, which are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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