I’m getting back into the groove of things this week. By way of example, I’m only a day late for this post instead of weeks behind.
In gaming news, I launched a new Dresden File RPG campaign with some friends. I’m really looking forward to this because we’re all steeped in the lore, so I don’t have to explain the differences between White Court, Red Court, and Black Court vampires. The trick is to make sure I keep the lore straight in my head to not jar the players out of the game. Right?
I’m also playing in a fantasy-themed Savage Worlds game that meets sporadically because we’re all really busy adulting around the universe. It’s a good game with a great GM, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where things go from here.
Time for some links!
I love the combination of the artwork depicting the visual of the cave from the outside combined with the top-down view of the cave’s map. This is a great set of visuals that can easily be used in any game. Thanks for the great maps (and especially this one) you’ve produced over the years, Dyson!
Mike followed-up his first 12 points with another 11 on how being near the center of the nation’s power and influence can impact lives. These are great world building tips, even if the characters or area you’re detailing aren’t immediately within the borders of the main city. Even if the characters are set up just outside the capital, the strength of the influence can reach outward. Of course, it diminishes with distance. One thing I like about this article is that it doesn’t paint a picture of all beauty and power and security. There are issues with packing lots of people (especially powerful people) into a small area. The “Exposure to….” sections of this article really call out some of these issues. Great work, Mike! I’m really looking forward to what you have to say about the “distant regions” of a nation.
It’s been a while since the Dungeon Dozen has had a post, but it looks like Jason is back on the horse with a great set of descriptors and things you can find atop the high peak in the area. #8 is my favorite on this list. What is #8? Well…. click the link to go find out!
I’ve always seen fishfolk uniformly depicted with trout- or bass-like bodies and some sort of toad (or maybe catfish) heads. I’ve never really pondered the alternatives, and the lifeforms beneath the waves can certainly bring forth thousands of crazy examples to use. Matt’s article explores just a few of those examples, but they’re great ones. Looking to expand your creative horizons when it comes to fishfolk? Look no further than this article.
I now have a major man-crush on Peter. He’s always done great work and made lots of sense in his books and blog posts, but this article drove things over the top for me. I’ve been in this argument about fireballs (and other mass damage spells) more times than I can count. RPGs are emulators of some form of reality. They are not true simulation engines. It doesn’t matter how hot the fireball really is. Will it reach the melting (or even boiling) point of gold or other materials? Doesn’t matter. Not one bit. The emulation aspect of the game already has mechanics in place in the form of damage resistance, hit points, damage points, and so on.
In this article, Mike talks about AERO: Allies, Enemies, Resources, and Opportunists. These are the different major types of NPCs found within an RPG campaign. Most of Mike’s articles are pretty lengthy, and I didn’t see how he could hit his usual word count with such a baseline topic. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great thing to talk about and go into, but I didn’t see how Mike could reach his usual heights with something so straightforward. He proved me wrong, and did a fairly deep dive into the topic. He took these four basic ideas and created a matrix of them. This way you can see how a Resource can become an Ally or Enemy or some such like that. By looking at NPC interactions from these many different angles, you can come up with a good number of character concepts for your NPCs. I’m going to see about leveraging what I just learned in the Dresden Files RPG campaign that I mentioned at the top of the article. Timely article, Mike!