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.
Systems of measurement might not sound like the most interesting of things, but they can be used to good effect in a role play campaign. There are three main ways I can think of: 1) Adding colour; 2) Culture shock and 3) Archaic systems.
While we’re talking about the subject of constructing religions, I’d like to bring up the concept of the Creed. The creed is nothing more than a simple statement of the religion’s beliefs, meant to be recited. If you cannot write a creed for your monotheistic religion, it probably needs work on internal consistency. Creed examples:
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.
My issue with modifying/removing dwarves and elves is that the PC’s may want to play them.
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.
The desire for immortality is a common one, given our innate fear of death. We share the same desire for immortality of our characters. Potions of immortality are often fakes, while spells of unending life invariably turn the caster into a vampire, or a liche or some other evil creature.
... some invaders come full-force, and are a previous unknown to the current inhabitants. Either way, the world will change.
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.
Language is an essential part of any culture. Culture wouldn’t exist without some form of communication, and humans communicate by speaking. But the connection is deeper even than that. The language helps to define the culture which uses it, and is in turn affected by that culture. This dynamic process is what keeps a language “alive”: Latin is a dead language because the culture to which it belonged no longer exists.
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.
Running a Game, the MoonHunter way. It is pretty bare bones, but it is pretty self explanatory.