Day 18: What Innovation Could RPG Groups Benefit From?

Well, I was going to say Google Hangouts for this but I just read a report that they are going to be cancelled as of next month.  If that is the truth or not I do not know so I had better throw something out there.  Something that I have been wanting to implement but have never done so.  Here it is, for all groups to consider and hopefully someone will pick it up, run with it, and report back to me.  The imaginary friend or the madness…


Imaginary Friend or the Madness

This takes planning and cooperation to do correctly and I will run with it as an imaginary friend but it could also be used to introduce a madness.  It also needs to be done in a way that one player is going to get a massive surprise when they come to the realization of what is happening.  The imaginary friend needs to be set up at the start of a game or in an ongoing campaign where someone joins.  One of the players is designated the imaginary friend (in the case of someone joining it is them) and then there is a target of whom this player will play the imaginary friend of.

Everyone but the target needs to be in on this and they need to make their character never react to anything the imaginary friend says or does.  Why?  because they are an imaginary friend and only the target is aware of them.  Things that the imaginary friend “does” actually does not get done and the others of the group will need to redo them.  The imaginary friend can act out how they want and attempt interactions with the other players but they must not respond.  What they need to respond to is if the actual player starts mentioning stuff like;

Why don’t you do what Pennywise says?!

Then the imaginary friend is surfacing through the other player.


Sooner or later the target is going to catch on.  The longer it takes the bigger the win.  I guarantee that if you can get this to work for a few sessions that it will be something that players will remember and talk about for years to come.  There has to be benefits to this too.  The new player or the imaginary friend needs to be able to keep experience earned in this manner and apply it to a real character when the time comes to give them up.  There also needs to be a solid bonus of experience or whatever your system uses across all of the players too.

Some setup required!

I call this an innovation as I have never heard of it done elsewhere.  If you do this, please let me know how it goes in the comments.  It may help setting this up that if you are the GM you could refer the players that are going to be in the know to this blog and they can see what it is they are meant to be doing and then they need only know who the friend is…  Keep rolling!


  1. That is one hell of an idea and would be awesome to play.


  2. Actually, I can think of one step worse: The entire group is imaginary except for one single person, or perhaps two, if one or more are telepathic (or twins).

    This actually resolves the intermittent player problem, because if they don’t show up, that character “had to go somewhere”. And then they can come back with no explanation, or some explanation that might make sense (or not). It might take a while for the non-imaginary character(s) to figure it out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.