Not bad at all. I can see uses for this as a guide or resource. Might be useful as a "red herring" as well. This would be fun to use on the PCs when they set up camp and bed down for the night. "Who's on watch? Okay, you suddenly hear a loud, creaking noise that sounds almost like a yawn, but far too loud and too deep to be anything human. It sounds like it's coming from the direction of that odd-shaped waterfall you passed earlier." Go to Comment
While I do understand where you are coming from and I can appreciate your points, I must say that my DnD group is keeping the dream alive. Yes, we do have 1.5 players who think nothing of their characterization, but the other 3.5 of us nearly sacrifice making balanced characters in favor of making them more interesting and quirky (generally settling for underpowered). Anyway, I hope that other people see this and think more about concepts and think more about making a slightly retarded half-orc cleric dedicated to Pelor than a tricked out rogue made up purely of stats and skill points. Go to Comment
Points well taken, Drack. I find it interesting, having grown up playing video games and only since midway through high school was even remotely interested in classic pen & paper games, that I rather try to cast video game characters in a pen & paper light. For example, when I first played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, before I even got through character creation I had written up a back story for my character. I chose skills and completed actions, not on what the metagaming strategic outcome would be on stats, but on what I thought the character would "do". This certainly isn't always the case (See the Diablo series), but it's how I normally tend to approach things.
Perhaps this is more of a reverse engineering way to do things: bring the creative sensibilities of classic RPGs into the video games of today. Not working in the industry, we have limited influence, of course. I remember back when we had a Commodore 64, RPG video games would come with cloth maps, artifacts, even dice. That was probably more due to technological limitations than creative effort, but the influence of pen & paper craft was still strong. In today's games that claim pen & paper roots (Neverwinter Nights of KotOR, for example, both drawing from d20 systems), the emphasis seems to be on increasing stats or directing your character toward two or three set results in a "stimulus-response" fashion. It's an improvement over hack-n-slash games like Diablo that, while sometimes having excellent and engaging stories, had little interaction in the storytelling. I hope that as technology improves, so will our interaction with games. Perhaps some time in the future, there won't be a distinction between video games & tabletop RPGs, and technological tools will break the chains that tie them to rote playthrough to be freed into the creativity and imagination of classic RPGs.
I've most definitely had this thought before. My firm contention is that a properly-run RPG is still far superior to a video game, because no preprogrammed microchip can replace a human GM to react to the character's actions ("your character does WHAT, now?"). Or at least I hope that's the case, or else I've been wasting a lot of time! Resurrection of a character exists in RPGs for the same reason it does in video games. The loss of a character can be devastating to a dedicated player, so there should be the possibility of a second chance. The trick is to arrange it so that it's not a "click-reset, boom, the guy is back" kind of thing. If it's too easy, then death isn't a threat.
Of course, I find it slightly ironic that there's a whole evil-technology undertone here, even though it's an online post. I think Strolen itself is proof that the pen-and-paper RPG isn't going anywhere. Even though some of us are using laptop computers and digital maps, we organize through text-messaging, etc., the game is still fueled by imagination and that will never change. Go to Comment
Some good points; I can't help but think that this is one of many symptoms of a society that is finding it harder and harder to get "unplugged". As you point out, we are constantly bombarded by input from video games, television, internet, cell phones, and even ipods. Seems tht whenever anyone has a spare minute, they find some way to surround themselves by noise or "plug in". I can't help but think to myself that this overabundance of input cannot be good for us. Our children can't seem to concentrate, learning disabilities and obesity are on the rise, and for the first time ever our life expectancy is on the decline. Don't know whether there is a correlation here, but when we are spoon-fed our thoughts and entertainment, that can't help. Go to Comment
I think the piece is somewhat nicely written but deals with a bit of flawed logic. Tying "keeping imagination alive" with "casual resurrection" is a bit shaky (to be nice). Heck, I make dying in my game WORTH experience - IF they gets raised/rez'd they make 10% to the next level for knowing what it's like to die (only the first player gets it IF he's raised). It's what happens BEFORE they die, while they're dying, and AFTER they're rez'd (if there's an after) in which their imaginations are working. DND is "shared storytelling", and unless it's full of nothing but cliche' moves (something I've never seen), then there's a lot of invention and turnings of the wheel of imagination in every scenario of every game.
What KILLs imagination is allowing nothing but video games in your life...chewing on someone else's brain-candy so the players don't have to create anything of their own. For shame! It's like reading "Chicken Soup For the Soul" and thinking it's curing you...but really, it's only a distraction from your ailment as you delve into someone else's little fantasy world.
No, get off the couch, log into Strolen, and BUILD ;) Or don't PLAY DND - DM a game, and create a universe in your head so you can regurgitate it later to a throng of WoW addicted friends who don't realize how hungry they are until you wafte your nuggets under their noses...and make them salivate like a lipless leper. Go to Comment
Plot hook: One of the PCs is a descendent of Andrew the coachman, and they don't understand why they are being hounded by this ghastly undead. Simply driving the Lady in her cursed carriage to her destination will let her soul rest in peace, but it will take a while for the PCs to figure this out. Go to Comment
Yeah, it's an okay NPC. The "falling in with a marauding horde" sounds a little improbable, perhaps someone from the group recognized him, or he was recommended to do it before by his "friends" from the jail, if there is such a thing.
Could come across a band of refugees. Could have been thrown out of their town by a tyrant taking of their land, bought out by somebody unexpectedly, fleeing a battle they know is coming their way. Could be proof of what they are searching for, hints and tips of what is to come, or just to broaden the reality of the world.
Encounter ( Any ) | February 16, 2003 |