I have to admit I HATE the number of casual magic items that appear in the average fantasy game, D20 being the worst. The amount of magic is being reinforced by the rules and the treasure chart. They are just “power ups” of the video game nature. They don’t add anything to the game except requiring bigger and badder bad guys.
A fight scene should be more than just rolling dice and counting numbers. It should be a chance for you to roleplay.
After reading a MoonHunter campaign write up, Captain Penguin Says, "THIS IS MADNESS! MADNESS!
Say, MoonHunter, have any packs to give to a character to make them actually roleplay instead of just dictating their character’s actions? The majority of my players just do this.
ME:“You see a grizzled old knight with a scar over his face. He walks up to you and greets you with an ancient Cardomian salute, though he is unfamiliar to your eye.”
THEM:“I say “Hi.”
THEM:“Yes. Now, I walk around him and open the door.”
ME:“But, but, he’s an important story character!”
THEM:“F**k the story! I want gold and XP, dammit!”
ME:“I hate you more than you’ll ever know.”
Action sequences in movies are fast, furious, and over all to fast. They are exciting moments that most gamers are looking forward to. Yet combat in most games is slow, ponderous, and takes up much game time. Gamers tend to blame the game systems. It is not the System, it is the group.
This one of many articles I am posting up about game design. It explains some of the minimum requirements for a product to be produced or even be “good”. This is also useful for posts as well.
When my first born came into the world, my gaming life skidded to a halt. However, in a strange way, my gaming life continued.
I am not a normal fantasy GM. If a player is delving through a dark tomb searching for loot in my campaign, he is probably on a fruitless quest. I dislike the dungeon crawl. I have since the earliest years of DnD. I mean where in Tolkein did they really crawl through a dungeon or other tomb/ place of mystery?
The world is full of different measurement systems. Some are old, some new, some obvious, some obscure. Each one is important enough to some group of people to be codified and passed down through the years. These are the ones that might be useful for gamers.
Of all the published roleplaying games, we have a huge number of fantasy games, a good number of sci-fi games, a smattering of modern and modern variation games, but very few of anything else. The Western is an Epic Genre in the bookstore. There are shelves and shelves of them, nearly as many as the science fiction section (minus Star Trek and Star Wars books). You would think it would be popular. There are only a piddling number of western games, and none are very successful.
This is a list of laws, axioms, and strong recomendations from published and/or famous game designers/ writers I have recently collected. If you find them, add them. Please do not just add “any old” gamer’s axions, laws, etc.
Do you ever give ice ages a thought?
Religions. Sigh. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. They have been such an intergral part of Human existance, that ignoring them is something you do at your own peril. A lack of religion (even hidden away in the background) can completely destroy the verisimiltude that a world designer desperately works so hard to achieve. So here is brief outline of various kinds of theisms.
Yesterday, new magic appeared upon your world. What happens next.
Magic should be just another form of technology, a means to do things. In most games, it is nothing more than another weapon. Others utilize it as a tool of everyday life.
Imagine a blight that killed off the grasses and grains. This is not an unheard off event. Mutant spores, molds, and diseases have killed off a wide variety, even who classes, of plants in the real world. Something that kills off grasses, sounds like science fiction (and the premise has been used in many “end of the world” movies and stories), but it is very applicable to a fantasy world… especially because they are mostly agrarian.
“Mass Produced Books” was one of the most important shift points in history. This one invention profoundly effected all aspects of life, not only locally, but eventually the entire world.
What would my world be if…. This is a question that many GMs should ask. It will help them flesh out their world. This is a series of articles to expand upon the idea.
The weather is something that everyone always notices and talks about, but can’t do anything about. It is an important part of everyone’s life, yet it seems to be ignored in games. And everything important in a game is best thought of as a character of some sort.
But I don’t have that book! Have you heard this before? You want to run this great new game (new setting) but your players are balking partly because they don’t want to buy the game you are so enchanted with “this week”. There is a solution.
A desolate region is almost entirely without normal vegetation. Local plants are able to unroot themselves and crawl along the ground in search of water and fertile soil. The inhabitants fence their crops in to keep them from wandering off and put heavy stone thresholds in the doorways of their huts to keep wayward plants out.
The plants sense by chemical cues, lacking sight or hearing, and tend to avoid herbivores or anything that smells of "dead plants". Characters with horses are likely to be unwelcome among the locals.