Happy Halloween to those of you partaking in the day in whatever means fits you best! For me, it’s heading into a suburb (we live pretty remote where houses are a quarter-mile or more apart) where we have friends with kids about my son’s age. We’ll team up with them and trounce around the neighborhood snagging treats while looking at the fantastic decorations that people put up. My wife and I swap out years between staying at the friends’ house to hand out candy and going with the kids themselves. I forget who pulls house duty this year, but we’ll figure it out.
Now for some links!
In a Space Opera (the game itself, not just the genre), I had a character that was a collection of nebulous numbers and not really any good “meat on the bones.” That was until I rolled one of the last stats to be generated: Bravery. I think the scale was 1-100 for this stat. Either way, I had a 3. Yep. Single digits. Low single digits. At that moment, my character concept was born. My GM told me that I could re-roll that stat if I wanted to, but I refused because that one number gave me a character concept. My guy would do what was necessary to cover his cowardice (including hacking security camera footage, which worked about as well as you would expect), but his main thing was fear of being lost in space due to an astronavigation error. I dumped SO many points into his already high intellect and the astronavigation skill it was ridiculous. Our ship had a navigation officer that was slightly better than me (it was his job, after all), but I double and triple checked his numbers and still curled into a ball of tears and snot at each jump. It was a hoot to play this character. You see? I took his severe weakness and turned it into a role playing opportunity.
As GM, I’m always on the side of the players. I want to see them succeed and have fun while doing so. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m no pushover. I don’t give away things and I don’t nerf the Bad Guys just to make it easy on the players. There’s always a way to survive an encounter (including running away.) It’s just up to the players to find that way to win. With me having one brain (pretty normal), the player brain mass outweighs mine, so they’ll always find a way around whatever devious plans I have for them…. and I’m happy when they do so.
This is a kick-ass map of a city! This is how I want my city maps to look. Well done!
While developing my own (still hidden away in a dark corner) RPG, I learned this lesson early on. Someone fighting with two swords went something like this: Roll to see if you can use both swords. Roll attack with sword #1. Roll defense against sword #1. Roll damage for sword #1. Roll attack with sword #2. Roll defense against sword #2. Roll damage for sword #2. I think I’m leaving something out in there like a soak roll or something like that, but you get the point. It was too much rolling for one character. It really bogged down combat quite a bit and left the rest of the players bored, and the GM and the active player exhausted. Rolling dice is fun, but don’t go overboard.
While reading Mike’s article, I couldn’t help but think of the forge scene near the end of Terminator 2 where the T-1000 was eventually dumped in the molten metal to be slain. This is a fine set up and case where the environment can be put to use by the players. Of course, if this were an RPG, the GM would be responsible for ensuring such a possibility could come about by placing things just right. If you have the Elemental Ice Lord that can only be damaged by fire, set things up by making sure at least a few (if not most or all) in the party have some sort of fire-based damage. If you don’t do this, then the players will wonder what the heck you were thinking when dropping the Elemental Ice Lord in their path. Think about the larger picture and figure out what Cool Stuff you can put into your games to allow the PCs to pull out all the stops and go super-heroic!