Treating divination

For my games, divination is as useful to the players as is to the me. Among other things, it can bring out convenient plot hooks when you least expect them.

Divinations, be they psychic, spells, runes, cards, supernatural, or super-science, can break portions of an adventure if done in isolation, out of context with the wider world. Premonitions treated as unerring facts make for very tricky GMing.

As a seer, you peer into the future, but because you’ve seen it you could potentially alter what may yet come to pass.

But you’re not the only one peeking into the future. The temporal landscape shifts as divinations ripple through it as others make their own changes, intentionally or not. So, there’s the possibility that any altered timeline trajectory changes the outcome of previously seen divinations. I try not to think too deep about it and just let divination be a gateway to clues.

I try to keep any divination, augury, or other reading vaguely on point, using a play on words or metaphor. Clear cut predestined events make little sense before the events happen. Keep in mind, too many fortune tellers move the needle of possibility.

As a plot hook, backstory, and a character’s destiny, a well placed vision works great. And a prediction’s ability to instill some immediacy to a coming crisis is great option that doesn’t railroad, but can nudge the player in a particular direction.

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