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Some Guidelines For Adventure Creation and GMing
Articles  (At Table)   (Game Mastering)
manfred's comment on 2010-03-21 11:54 AM
This article was featured in RPG Tips Issue 480. May it inspire many more GMs! Go to Comment
Clockfolk
Lifeforms  (Constructed)   (City/ Ruin)
manfred's comment on 2009-09-12 05:58 PM
A note of sadness for the beginning, and many options at the end, got to like that. Go to Comment
The Quiet
Locations  (Area)   (Space)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-09 04:12 PM
It is a stub alright. Not really Firefly, a generic location to put into any spacey setting. Not much to go by but a good base for more. Go to Comment
The Quiet
Locations  (Area)   (Space)
manfred's comment on 2009-03-15 03:05 PM
Why would anyone pass through a strange, somewhat dangerous area? As was hinted, some avoid it, some don't. But let's see:

- because they are in a hurry (want to get fast _to_ or _from_ something?)
- because they want to stay undetected
- because they are curious
- because of a malfunction they drifted into the area
- because they don't know any better (or someone 'updated' their database)

...which are all perfectly valid reasons. What'd be the fun in a game, if all journeys were constant and safe? This region does not seem too dangerous, but it doesn't need much to make for an outstanding adventure background. As long as it is usable to some, it is worth considering. Go to Comment
The Twelve
Locations  (Ruins)   (Plains)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-06 06:40 PM
Now this is a cool prison for your fantasy campaign - the regeneration of the statues makes the work so wonderfully pointless. Don't tell the Provosta, but I think there is a steady trickle of converts coming from the convicts, out of spite.

Not easy to apply, but once done, it provides chrome without end (and some plot hooks to boot). Go to Comment
Hyperdoily
Items  (Home/ Personal)   (Magical)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-06 06:46 PM
Now this is applied string theory! :)

Silly, but yes, there are so many uses for it. Short and sweet. Go to Comment
Hanaset
Society/ Organizations  (Ethnic/Cultural)   (Regional)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-06 06:25 PM
It is quite a read, with many delicious details. I was a bit surprised that they are actually literate, sporting a hidden library of great wisdom on the side. It also seemed that they were quite friendly; this paints a more aggressive picture. Go to Comment
Static Advancement and the Reset Button
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Gaming - Genre)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-05 07:04 PM
Probably the main reason why this happens, is the simplest one: old civilizations lost to the sands of time, often more advanced than the current one, are kinda cool. Besides the background, they also provide the Game Master with an easy excuse for any number of treasures, traps, monsters, and of course dungeons in all the colors of the rainbow. It is one of the easiest ways to prevent the inflation of magical items ("They don't make these anymore."). This GM's little trickbox, carefully applied, can greatly increase the fun factor of a game.

It has to be admitted, though, that believability of such a world tends to suffer, as you have noted. Luckily you provide fine tools to correct this oversight. Another 'poison' could be a great conspiracy, that keeps the technological level down for its own purposes. Another consequence to consider, is the disruption of trade and other contacts between peoples. That may easily cause new languages to appear and the old ones to vanish... and we could go on.


There is some solid thinking put into this article, fun reading as well. Great work, Scras! Go to Comment
The Hermit of Wither Tor
NPCs  (Mythic/ Historical)   (Mystical)
manfred's comment on 2008-11-03 07:49 AM
Thank you for the chuckle. An immortal(?) creature of great power, that you can easily plop into any random poor neighborhood. And there ARE PCs, who would find a lesson or two from the hermit valuable (you can't help but see, that someone would send them to him).

A very proper fantasy NPC. Go to Comment
The Cathedral of Light
Locations  (Establishment)   (Underground)
manfred's comment on 2008-12-12 12:07 PM
I like it when dwarves and runes appear together. The location is perfectly logical as it is compact. Good work!

Would it be possible to increase the light output to actually harm (or at least blind) someone? I imagine undead wouldn't like it here. Go to Comment
The Hollow Ones
Lifeforms  (Third Kingdom)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2009-03-07 06:21 PM
There is a subtle irony here, that I didn't notice at first. These wizards have learned their lesson forever, but are prevented from learning anything else (normally). Now that's the ultimate lesson!

I would think, that without feeding they would appear a bit more detached from reality, flat and emotionless; and more human when fed. Without this contact with human souls, I suspect they will lose whatever remains of their own soul. There has to be a price for immortality. Go to Comment
Pimple Coat
Items  (Armor)   (Combat)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-21 06:24 PM
Chaosmark got my note. I could see someone calling those pimples warts, especially those with little love for the guards. :) Go to Comment
101+ Scenes in the Modern Western City
Locations  (City)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-14 06:26 PM
113) Several men and women walk up and down an area with GPS devices, eyeing each other and bits of paper, looking for an important clue in the latest detective or find-the-treasure game.

114) A hopeful artist is making portraits of anyone willing to stand models, has several pieces laid out for demonstration. Works a little on the last one while waiting for a new customer.

115) This hardware store has several large plasma TVs on display and a crowd is staring on some very important event that is on.

116) A bunch of Greenpeace activists (or equivalent) is heading to the next demo. Now they just look weird with their masks, megaphones and folded signs. Have a flier anyway.

117) Loud rap music blares from a car placed where everyone can see it, some amateurs fail at looking cool.

118) That guy walks with a damn big white snake around his neck, did you see that?

119) The local weather anchor poses in front of the sea in appropriate garb, enthusiastically rattling off the weather forecast.

120) Girls from a catholic school cross in their uniforms, some shy, some not so shy. You feel younger.

121) A homeless person is selling the local charity newspaper, offers you one as well. If you've been around, you notice he is here every day.

122) Over, at a small playground you see a lonely fellow shooting balls into the basket. There are some more guys around, but no one seems willing to play with him.

123) In a crowded street, a beggar sits quietly with a sad dog on his side. No one seems to be intent on dropping a coin. Go to Comment
101+ Scenes in the Modern Western City
Locations  (City)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-14 06:28 PM
Excellent idea, this will make a great generator. :)

But now: add away! Go to Comment
Noamuth
Locations  (Country/ State)   (Mountains)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-12 02:42 PM
A nice little town that is not worth visiting... oh wait, there are always reasons to visit those faraway places, especially if they are hidden away like this. :)

Well described. Go to Comment
True Ether
Items  (Potion)   (Campaign Defining)
manfred's comment on 2009-02-08 05:16 PM
Yep, raw mana, the stuff dreams are made of (or at least potions)!

In my version, raw mana cannot be permanently stored, as it slowly looses the binding into material form and becomes free magic again. This process seems to halve the amount of mana in regular intervals (like radioactivity). It is also said to attract some monsters... Go to Comment
True Ether
Items  (Potion)   (Campaign Defining)
manfred's comment on 2009-02-08 05:17 PM
One plus for the term 'Godsweat'. :) Go to Comment
Dandélion
Lifeforms  (Flora)   (Plains)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-09 06:08 PM
Now that has touched me... a bit silly, a bit pointless, but written with heart and soul. I would like to imagine, that those who would kill them will be marked, repaid by nature some other time. A nice fantasy biology as well.

They indeed add character to a place. Go to Comment
Chungwa Wolf
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Desert)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-09 04:19 PM
It is a well-described upgraded wolf, of which there have been many. I like especially the third plot hook, two concepts of nature reverence clashing together, a story to place close to the naive civilization... good one. :) Go to Comment
Daymen Scarb
NPCs  (Scenario Based)   (Mystical)
manfred's comment on 2008-10-07 09:22 AM
Everybody loves a failing magician! And this one is believably built, no to mention entertaining. You can still find potential uses for this powerful wizard (well, he _does_ create powerful effects), like powering some magical item; just wait on the consequences.

Very usable and fun! Go to Comment
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       By: Scrasamax

Woodrats - In a fantasy realm of cooshee (elven dogs/cats) it is to be expected that there is some sort of elven vermin. These mercurial rats are lightning quick, and are capable of hiding in plain sight. Other than this, they have no special ability.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | April 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp