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Author Topic: Howdy There Ya'll  (Read 1937 times)

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Offline faerytech

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Howdy There Ya'll
« on: September 22, 2015, 09:17:56 PM »
In case you were wondering, I don't usually talk with that particular accent... although growing up in the SouthEastern United States, I certainly can.

Hi, I'm Maddy. I'm fresh off the boat. I found this site while looking for weather related plots to help me in building my epic fantasy world, Tyrin for the Strands of Fate game I will be Gming in the coming months. This site looks pretty sweet, and I'm really interested in getting some feedback, checking out other people's ideas, and... well, all the other awesome things to do on here.

I guess since Tyrin brought me here, I should tell you about it.

A few days ago I was trying to create a character. I really wanted to do a one on one with my friend Sage using the SOF system. However, no matter how many ideas we bounced back and forth, none of them really felt right. None of them was encapsulating the mood I was going for. And then from the dredges of memory emerged a story idea I'd birthed at the tender age of 12. It began with a damsel in distress, heavy with child and fleeing from unknown pursuers into the depths of the woods... The child would be born an orphan, and grow up in a monastery, far from the dangers of the world and ignorant of her noble birth, of her inherent magical abilities, until a gypsy on the run stole into her haven and she altered the course of history by aiding him.

Of course, the more I thought of it, the more I realized that Sage wasn't going to be able to GM this. This was a world that I'd started, and I needed to be the one to finish it now. He would have to play the ignorant prince. So, in search of a role, I instead found a world...

Tyrin is fast becoming an intricate labyrinth. However, I'm attempting to keep the themes simple and reminiscent of the books I loved as a child, a story of adventure, and magic, of discovery and friendship. I wanted to make something that Sage would love, and I feel the honesty and cleverness of this world will do that.

I've never gmed before, only played at it for an hour or two. But I have noticed some things that I really disliked about the worlds my previous gm created... That they weren't worlds at all. They were just the barest bit of plot, a single far reaching quest with a series of smaller quests. If we deviated from the quest in any way, (even ways that made sense for my character, such as asking "Wait, why am I going to believe this random person that I'm somehow fated and now wander off into the dangerous woods like a madman?") he said no, or set up hurdles until we found the way he wanted us to go... which was always blissfully easy. If we walked into a tavern, no one except the bartender wanted to talk to us, and he would only tell us about the next stage in our journey. I assume that this was simply a case of bad gming.

However, as a failsafe... I've decided I wanted to create a system of "events" for myself. Some will be set in stone... Festivals, Holidays, Harvests and preset quests that my players may or may not stumble upon while they're playing. Others will be random. Storms, Earthquakes, births, deaths, and... well, I'm still thinking of some, haha. But I want to add these as plot elements. A drought leaves a town of people increasingly desperate, they'll do anything to feed their children... An earthquake unearths a long buried city with ruins to explore... A volcanic eruption leaves a mysterious egg-shaped stone behind... A PC using an awesome bit of magic accidentally sets off a sequence of natural disasters that they now have to fix...

While I was writing this, Sage sent me this http://stuffershack.com/fantasy-without-the-fantasy-races/#more-37754 which seems like an answer to my prayers concerning Tyrin. I'd been on the fence about introducing fantasy races, and this really put into words my feelings about it. I don't want elves because even though I love elves, it would be a cop-out. And I don't want to cop out. I had originally had the accessible world of Tyrin be much smaller in order to have some limits on where the characters could go and what I needed to create, but after some thought it felt better to just create it rather than cheat and throw up an impassable desert or ocean.

Anyway, I've got to run! But I wanted to mention one other thing. The magic system in my world is based around the idea that "song" (ie sound waves) created the entire universe (I only found out Tolkien used this idea after I had already begun working on it. Curse you Tolkien for using my ideas before I had them.) And thus magic is all verbal. I'll probably write some more? Or maybe just wait for some feedback. Adios!

Offline Longspeak

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 09:49:33 PM »
Welcome! Come in, take of your shoes, put up your feet.

You raise some interesting points in your intro, which leads into some interesting a long-standing debates about different ways to game. Sandbox vs. Plot-Driven, and when the two intersect, and diverge. Every group has to find their own balance in that regard. Sounds like you're more sandbox, which is great. I look forward to reading and "borrowing" your ideas for my own games.


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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 03:23:35 AM »
Yay! Now I'm not the only person who says Howdy!

Welcome to the Citadel!
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Offline axlerowes

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 07:24:06 AM »
Welcome Faerytech,

Your post made me feel less alone in the world of gaming.

I think the philosophy behind your GMing plan is excellent, as I too find railroady GMs frustrating.   Tabletop RPGs (as a medium) share a lot with board games such as Descent, video games such as the Resident Evils, Final Fantasys and Gauntlets, or even passive media such as books or comics; but what makes the RPG unique is sandbox quality you can bring to the storytelling.  If the players don't contribute to the narrative outcomes with something other dice roles and geometry you might as well play Warhammer (or whatever mini game you prefer).  I am always disappointed when GMs break the wall to tell the characters what they are supposed to do, start monologing the action or get heavy handed scenes as if we PCs are on ride.  In my experience, no good GM has the players just watch something, no good player should just watch something (stakeouts don't count).   I know that taken too far the Sandbox can be frustrating for players and the story can end up in holes, so we sometimes have to accept false starts.   Let us know how your world and game works out.  I think your players are lucky to have you.

Offline faerytech

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 08:18:57 AM »
Thanks everybody! I think it's great that so many people like the sandbox strategy! I had honestly thought there was more of it in tabletop rpging, but I also understand that a lot of that relies on the players. It doesn't matter how immersive the world is if the players are used to straightforward quests.
Since posting my introduction, I've made an incredible breakthrough in the races (I had already designed 3 unique races, with 5 groups). I'd felt funny about them, I can't quite put my finger on why. I was torn between wanting fantasy races and feeling like having elves, dwarves, etc didn't fit in my world. So I decided to take a different approach. I had already designed the climate of the 3 unique lands that these races came from, so I took the environment and chose animals that were native to that environment, and worked with them to create the fantasy races... and ended up with Fauns/Satyrs as one of my races, haha.
I really love when I go through a lot of trouble to create something unique and end up reinventing the wheel. No, really, I do. It doesn't matter if it's been created before, only that the logic works! My main continent is modelled after Ireland, and the main race was "singers and dancers", "fast, gentle, and graceful"... which is exactly what I think of when I think of the red deer. Going off that in creating their appearance "Fair skin with spots, the legs of a horse or goat, red hair, large brown eyes" I had a "wow that sounds like gingers" moment. Besides the legs of a goat thing. >///> Hehe.
But now I've got to create a race that is notable for its extreme intelligence and craftiness, the island they're from being modelled after something like Japan. But the two creatures I most relate with intelligence are dolphins and primates, and creating a part human version of them just seems to be ... a little... you know... *nudge*.

Offline Dozus

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2015, 08:20:40 AM »
Welcome, friend! May your time in the Citadel be fruitful!  :thumbup:
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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 08:08:12 PM »
Well articulated feelings toward the hobby and world building! I think we all struggle with trying something new and avoiding the tropes. Sometimes they are a ton of fun, other times you just want to ditch them and start all over.

A huge thing depends on your players too. There might be some small compromising between your vision and their expectations. I would be tempted to make them help with the race creation. :) See what kind of surprises they can come up with that you can adopt.

You have a great idea of what you are doing and what you are looking for. Enjoy the world building and I hope you continue to share the experience with us!

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Offline jedion357

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2015, 12:16:58 PM »
Greetings fellow former barbarian.

Offline faerytech

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2015, 09:24:07 PM »
Greetings and thanks for the advice everyone. :)

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Howdy There Ya'll
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 03:32:51 PM »
Hi there!

As for craftiness and Japan, foxes / kitsune come to mind quite naturally. Other than that, raccoons would fit well with the sneaky tanuki of Japanese lore. Ferrets appear crafty, and so does the rat, though there are many negative connotations regarding the latter.
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