I’m actually typing this intro up early, and had the comments (more or less) done as I found the links during the week. It feels good to be ahead of schedule. Tonight is game night. We’ll be doing board/card games instead of RPGs because of two members dropping out and a third being absent for the session. It’ll be good to play some board/card games as a brain refresher, though.
Now on with the links!
I’m not linking to this because Douglas and I drive the same car (mine’s the STI variant, not sure if Douglas’s is as well). Like him, I do gobs of thinking (and listening to podcasts) while in the car on my lengthy, daily commute between home and the Day Job. The reason I’m linking to this is I really like the idea of turning the casting of a spell into a ritual to preserve a spell slot. I would even go so far as to allow a caster access to any spell within their allowed list, even if it wasn’t memorized. I agree with the chart near the end of the post as far as timings. I might see about incorporating this into my Pathfinder game.
Stargazer makes some fantastic points here. Start with what matters to the PCs and then grow out from there. If a PC was involved in the Eurowars from 25 years ago, then pinpoint exactly how and put the development of the rest of the wars aside. My step-father is a Vietnam war combat veteran. I have quite a few friends that are combat veterans of both Iraqi/US wars, and in the anti-Taliban efforts in Afghanistan. In talking with all of them, they didn’t care much about the politics or history that got us involved. Sure, they were aware of it, but when hot lead is flying, you can give a crap about the 30 history of French-IndoChina that eventually dragged the United States into conflict in Vietnam. If the world building (or city building or back story or whatever) matters to the PCs, it’ll matter to the game.
Holy detailed tables, Batman! This is a great set of generators for ideas for taverns, the contents, the qualities, the walls, and so much more. I’m very tempted to crack open my considerable software engineer skills to automate the various tables into a quick-n-easy to use web page. (Of course, before I did so, I’d request Mike’s express permission.) I do want to add one thing that’s true of all random tables. They are idea generators. Sometimes, silly things can come out of those dice+table combinations. If there contradictory results, strange results, silliness, or just plain “huh?” coming out of randomization, think about it. Sometimes you keep the results because the story around those results are just too awesome to walk away from. Sometimes, you abandon what the dice “demand” and just come up with some tweak or change to the results to fit what you need. It’s all idea fodder, not a holy text to be followed.
Thoth breaks down the formation and structure of cities quite well. This is one of the most thoughtful posts I’ve seen about cities in a long time. Good work!
Dyson has a fantastic way of merging in the “human built” sections and the naturally occurring segments into single maps that sparks the imagination. Very good work on this one!
Mike opens this post with the question, “How do you work accents into your speech patterns for voicing NPCs?” My answer: I don’t. I can’t do an accent to save my life. Ain’t happenin’. However, I do change speech patterns within my own natural “American*” accent. I’ll slow things down, draw out certain words, talk real fast, go “Southern Boomhauer**“, or change things up a bit. I can do a decent Yoda, I guess. Mike calls this approach “Locking Phrases” which is exactly how I approach things. I don’t mangle every bit of speech. I just pick out some parts to change up to give the dialogue some easy identification. Click through and read on for more advice from Mike on this wonderful topic.
* — I’m originally from Texas, but have lived in Montana, and now resided in Colorado. I’ve worked very hard to lose my “southern twang” for a wide variety of reasons. Most people guess that I’m from Chicago (been there once), Arizona (never been there), northern California (been there a few times for work), and so on. In other words, my natural “accent” is “American”.
** — Hit this WIkipedia article if you have no clue what I’m talking about.