The GM has told his players that he will be running a game session. He tells them that they may each choose any one item.
One player tells the GM he's choosing a knife.
Knowing this, the GM sets up an adventure in which the very first thing the PCs encounter is a burning building. A fire.
The player has brought a knife to a 'fire' fight.
What's wrong with this scenario?
The GM, knowing full well one guy chose a knife, created a scenario in which a knife was pretty much useless. He took that one guy's special thing, and made it irrelevant.
Moreover, the player, given the choice, wanted his character to have a knife. By making the knife pointless (so to speak) the GM makes the PC, and player, feel pointless as well.
But the player is at fault here too. He refused to put down the knife, and maybe, oh I don't know, throw some dirt on the fire. He could've looked for water. He didn't try to do something, anything, else.
Having a knife was not all he could do, but it was all he could think to do.
The thing is, given the opportunity to chose an item, and having chosen a knife, he fixated on the fact that a knife must be useful here. There must be a way to use the knife to fight the fire. Why else would the GM allow him to pick a knife?
What is the moral of this story?
If you, as GM, allow a player to bring a particular character into play with a particular ability, allow that player to use that power. Do not, knowingly, create a situation where that character, and therefore that player, feels useless.
If you, as a player, can't use one of your abilities for what ever reason, use the one ability we are all guaranteed to have on us at all times. Your brain.
Be flexible. Great creative. Figure something out.
This is my 860th blog post. Wee!