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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you ever give ice ages a thought?
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.
There are more ways than one to encounter a dragon. With a low level group it's obviously not feasible to meet one in its lair and fight it. But standing on a bleak moorland, utterly exposed and vulnerable, it can be a chilling experience to see something flying far far overhead. Something that could just be an eagle, but you never know...