July 31, 2013

Siri as Instrument of Gaming Unease

During the other night’s 13th Age game, the characters had three minutes before a disguise self spell expired, exposing one of the PCs to a dangerous potential enemy and the rest of them to the discovery of their ruse. After a little bit of dialogue I realized what I really ought to be doing. I grabbed my iPhone and used Siri to set a three-minute timer. This immediately sent shivers of suspense through the entire group. The ability to set a timer at the gaming table is by no means new. But the combination of the voice command and everyone's understanding of what that meant added an extra frisson of tension to the classic ticking clock situation. Now, I would only use this in a dialogue sequence where real time and game time roughly equal one another. Here it worked delightfully. Thanks for the GMing assist, Siri.