Another belated Friday Five. I’m seriously thinking about dropping this to a permanent move to Sundays. It seems that between Day Job, Contract Job, Volunteer Job, Writing, and Family, I just can’t squeeze the time in until Sundays….
Anyone else have thoughts about a permanent move to Sunday?
Here’s the six links I gathered this week!
Noisms has some great thoughts on mucking about in the great open wild. The title and bullet list on the blog state three, but if you look closely enough, there are probably closer to a dozen distinct ideas that can be gleaned from the post.
Many a game campaign starts with a seed. Probably most (if not all) of them, but premature ending of a campaign can be caused by not planting the right seed. Lack of new seeds or growing the seeds into sprouts or mighty oaks without proper roots can easily kill a campaign. Basically, you need to think through the full implications of your ideas before you spring them on the players. I once had a GM complain that we were missing his clues. Turns out that we did catch his clues, but none of them really mattered to the players (individually or as a group). I guess this means he tossed out the wrong seeds and expected a different crop to grow. How do you avoid this conundrum? Mike has loads of great, practical advice on how to approach planting the proper seeds that will grow into mighty oaks.
For me, the death knell of a campaign is the question, “When this campaign is over, what are we going to play next?” This means the players are more interested in the “new and shiny” rather than what is on the plate in front of them. There are many signs of a campaign coming to an unnatural close. When I say “unnatural,” I mean that the storyline isn’t completed, but the players are ready to stop creating that story. Check out the post and the comments. There’s some great information in there.
John has a good article about taking a “typical” organizational structure in your game world and twisting it up a bit to add more flair, flavor, and realism. There’s loads of examples (usually because of word count constraints) of guilds, nations, religious orders, and other groups being painted with broad strokes. When you run into those, think about what kind of internal strife you can throw into the mix to change things up.
This is a sweet map from Dyson that is packed full of opportunities to fill out with interesting encounters. I love his maps that he produces like this. It allows for a great deal of creative juice to be pumped into the rooms and hallways he has so expertly drawn.
I’ve rarely done this because I don’t need to count down toward impending doom very often. However, when I’ve pulled this trick from the bag, it’s worked very well. The countdown mechanic is a very strong spice, so use it sparingly. If you’re interested in how it’s done, check out the post by Phil.