I've recently stumbled into 'whimsy cards' on several occasions and I have a growing curiousity about them. That I don't know much about them only goes to show that I'm a newbie who've only been around since 3rd edition.. Now I know that they can be found on various subpages to the Redcap and I know Tuura once did a fine introduction to them (here). But I'm really curious to hear more about the whimsies! Anyone using them? What's you experience and attitude toward them?
And while we're at it I would really love to know about other forms of 'formulaic' narrative tools that anyone are using!
As Chuck said in that ancient posting, we've been using the whimsy cards since Day 1 of Second Edition. I wish I had my own set of them, or a set usable for PbP play.
Great care has to be used in adjudicating their usage; Each whimsy card is a little bit of Storyguide Power in the player's hands. There has been some blatant abuses of them (usually trying to keep a person from getting killed by their own stupidity), but there have been some very amusing moments.
For instance, we used to record our sessions on tape, and one of the player's asked to stop the tape, he wanted to write what he was about to say down, to see how it looked. When Chuck said "No", the player pulled out a Whimsy Card, "Switch Roles" and stated, "I'm now the storyguide, and the tape stops." The rest of us were too busy laughing to object.