I need tools and techniques for a specific part of aesthetic and dramatic coordination I’d call “odd balls vs staying with it”. In the context of GMful games, we want to be able to throw oddballs and “pointy questions” from time to time. But doing so works best when it’s not rushed, and we let consequences sink in.
What happens in play is that we easily mistake shiny for golden, and then there’s inflation. It’s similar to “this is silly” only not as disruptive “this is unexpected and grabbing”. Next game we try to keep inflation in check but this sobriety feels like abstinence. We miss the rush of idea. So, we throw an odd ball, etc. I am the one doing it most of the time but the others enjoy it, so I don’t (like to) think it’s about being on the same page, because we know the balance we like. I would like institutions helping us maintain this balance (to me, rules are not about inviting the unwanted, but mostly regulating exchanges at the table).
My main tool would be a “odd phase”, triggered as soon as Alice throws an oddball. She grabs (or is handed) an “odd token” and Bashir and Chan must contribute staying with it for a given amount of time. Then Alice can’t throw an oddball as long as an “odd token” is in front of her. From time to time, odd tokens are refreshed. This is a bit like BoB with oddballs instead of successes.
Any other ideas ?