Sir Larkins over at The RPG Corner confesses that his secret shame is the collection of character sheets. It’s almost to the point of being a fetish for him. Don’t worry, I’m not judging because I have a secret shame of my own. It has nothing to do with character sheets. I really could (and have) just use a sheet of paper for a character sheet. It doesn’t make that much of a difference for me. My secret shame is that I collect “city settings” like you wouldn’t believe. Yes, I dropped $100 on Ptolus because it was the biggest city setting (in a single volume) at the time. Then “The World’s Largest City” came out, and I had to buy that one too. I think the price point on that Big Guy was $120 or in that area. I also have, I think, every Waterdeep resource that has been published outside of magazine-type environments. Why do I love cities so damn much? I’m not sure. I think it has to do with the diversity of areas, culture, buildings, sewers, sub-sewers, Underdark entrances, people, laws, customs, rules, businesses and so much more. Each time I’ve run a city-based campaign (or set of adventures) we’ve always had a blast, even if a few of the players were dubious about the environment to start with.
Muahahahahaa! I have totally done this to my players before. They were chasing a drow wizard around the continent and finally thought they had him cornered for the fourth or fifth time. The wizard had set a trap that the party charged headlong into in their furious fever to slay the drow. When they hit the bottom of a set of stairs, the wizard dropped Mordenkainen’s Disjunction on them and that’s where I ended the session. They were pissed. I took control of their character sheets and equipment lists and asked if it was OK if I rolled for their items since it was going to take me most of the week to determine saving throws and the like. I didn’t want to consume our precious gaming time with all those dice rolls. They were cool with it and not too many of them were totally destroyed by the loss of their items. It really upped the challenge of the game, and, in the end, I think it helped benefit the mood and play of the game. Oh. They didn’t kill the wizard that time around, but they eventually did track him down and take him out. Victory for them was that much sweeter because of the challenges that I had dropped in front of them.
Lots of people start their world creation with a map. That’s not quite the best starting point, but it can work. A concept needs to precede the actual mapping process to assist in building a cohesive world. Go check out the Confessions of a GM blog to get more details.
There are many different ways to handle a missing player and I think Mike has covered all of them well enough. It’s a fact: Players will be missing from time-to-time. Go check out what Mike has to say on the matter because I really can’t add that much more to his wonderful post.
This post includes a great chart that compares the real life spans of British Isle rulers against Elven and Dwarven lives. It really brings into perspective how Elves, Dwarves and Humans can and should approach attempting to accomplish certain goals. Obviously, the Elves have a much greater chance at succeeding at a long-term goal than anyone else… assuming they survive to the end of their natural life.