Saturday Six: 2014-03-08March 8th, 2014
Migrating an Internet presence containing five different web sites and a whole slew of email addresses for a non-profit from a failing hosting service to two different platforms sure does consume lots of time. I have the initial phases of that project well underway, but there’s lots of work to do. The initial launch took much more time than I had originally planned, so I was up until a wee bit after midnight last night. This morning started way too early for a weekend, but here I am at the keyboard again.
With that little tale told…. On with the links!
If this artwork doesn’t inspire some serious creative juices, I’m not sure what will! I’m tempted to back the Kickstarter linked to in the article just to get the art! Wow!
I think the most important question this article raises in my mind is, “Have we become too soft?” I recall distant memories of hoping to get to a high enough level with enough followers and carrying enough wealth to build a stronghold and establish my own nation or city state or guild or trading company or school or temple. I’d draw map after map of what the stronghold would look like. I did this for many characters. They wanted to go forth and conquer. The wild frontiers were theirs for the taking. However, something’s happened over the years and, as Mike put it, political correctness has gotten in the way of these ideals. I vividly remember one game where we were shipwrecked on an island full of native elves. They had loads of gems, but no real ability to work metal. My character was a dwarven smith (he was also a fighter), so I took what metal I could from the dregs of the ship and forged it into pots and pans that I tried to trade for a plethora of gemstones. Another player stopped me and told me, “I’m not going to let you buy Manhattan Island for some chunks of metal.” I stayed in character and told him I didn’t want the whole island, and I didn’t realize it had been named “Manhattan” by anyone. He didn’t get it. I’d love to find a game where “go forth and conquer” is a central theme…. Thanks, Mike!
Everyone should game master a session or three. I’m very adamant about that. I won’t force someone to sit behind the screen, but I’ll use every tool in my social toolbox to get them to do so. Seeing the game from that perspective helps improve you as a role player… and you never know! You might enjoy it. I recall getting a good friend of mine who had been a player for almost three decades behind the screen for the first time. She ran a great game, but stopped it after three sessions because she didn’t realize how little control the GM actually had over the proceedings of the game. After this, she became an even better player!
You chase them. They chase you. *yawn* Roll some dice. You got a higher number, you catch up. You got a lower number, they catch up. *yawn* Andreas has some fantastic ideas on how to amp up the chase scene and remove the boring roll after roll after roll that eventually leads to uneasy safety or combat.
Tick-Tock goes the clock. Drip-drool goes the character. I love tinkering with a character’s grasp on the world through messing with the players. Sometimes it bleeds over into the player’s grip on reality… if done right and done well. I’ve never been a fan of the players that say, “Oh. Scary thing. *yawn* Okay. I’ll tick off some sanity points and shoot it in the face.” However, a reaction like that can be completely avoided with the right set up by the GM. The best horror-based game I ever played in was a series of vignettes in Ravenloft (2nd Edition AD&D) run by a fellow named Jim. We didn’t change the ambiance of the playing area from our typical epic fantasy games, but I swear the room darkened a bit when Jim stepped behind the screen. His tonal qualities and body posturing painted such a vivid picture for me. I still get chills thinking about what my wizard/thief went through at his hands.
Wow! Click through and look at all these fabulous maps people have put together. I’m completely blown away by the different approaches and interpretations of what Dyson started. Excellent work, everyone!