In reality, some of the comfort of certain games comes from their predictability.
I think 'The Wangrod Defence' is the perfect example of what happens when we refuse to view the meta.
Meta. The term is mentioned a lot in D&D circles. When someone does something outside of what their character knows, people roll their eyes and say 'uhh..meta'.
When you begin a West Marches game, it's worth thinking about your player base.
People had been using words in game with each other and only sort of even been in the same ballpark.
This changes the dynamic instantly, altering our attitude, throwing us into conflict, one against the other for dominance, where before there had been a shared story.
Some people I know are really good at handling massive player groups and making sure people have a great time.
Ever notice that the dynamics of your campaign can change?
While it is useful to recognise those skillsets and use them to add extra elements to your game, it is easy to overlook the other skill set that people bring to your table: social roles.
Players are maybe the best hidden resource the Role playing game format has.