If you are a GM you will frequently find yourself in need of quality allies and enemies for your campaign and find yourself pressed for time. Any old NPC will often not do. You want someone with a full conceptions and some history.
"There is something about the outside of a horse…that is good for the inside of a man."
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.
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.
I was in a game with a GM that had a Masters in History, who made is a point to mention that the local peasants didn't have wheelbarrows. The rest of the players just shrugged that off but I knew that the GM was trying to tell us the peasants were on the knife edge of starvation.
All that from wheelbarrows? Yes, because before the invention of the wheelbarrow it took two men to carry that load. In it's time the wheelbarrow was the most explosive production multiplier that the peasantry could get their hands on.
This is worth two tips: One about the power of the Wheelbarrow and the other is the moral of the story...that people need to know the point you are trying to make.