On not leaving the house, a poetess speaks.

WOTC Indexes:
Prestige Class Index, Class Index, Feat Index, Spell Index

Disquisition on Government by John C. Calhoun. I hadn’t heard of this, but after hearing it called the anti-constution, anti-declaration of independence, I’m curious. It looks dense.

Wikipedia Fictional Materials Good inspiration, via Roger Wilcox’s homepage. Wilcox’s homepage has lots of interesting stuff, including links to a Star Database, SF analysis, an anti-vegetable polemic and more.

An interesting looking D&D supplement: Hobgoblins.

Friday December 30th Cancelled

Tonya’s working a half day Friday, so we’ll spend Friday night with family. The following week (Friday January 6th) should be a go– our Sacramento visit has been rescheduled for later in the month.

Happy New Year!

Burning Wheel background ideas

So, Burning Wheel. When I first read through, this was the setting I came up with immediately. (It’s seriously sketchy still; hopefully a bit more will be done to make a one-sheet & perhaps a map.)

The setting: a long occupied province. A human empire went to war with the elves next door long ago. They lost & their westernmost province was occupied. That was 200 years ago.

This province is unusual– it’s one of the few places a human will ever encounter an elf in a human-style town. The elves are somewhat inflexible– the same people are still running the province.

Here are some setting sparks that worked for me:
a) Snobby elvish “royalty” (like 3rd son to the throne rules the province; he’s distracted & bored, because it’s not elvish culture).
b) Human resistance fighters! After 200 years it’s more a revolutionary war thing– citing current complaints and less so historical freedom, etc.
c) Some humans do very well; for simplicity of administration, the elves concentrated authority for large chunks of trade, etc., in specific humans (and later their families). So there’s a human oligopolgy; lots of human families with a monopoly on specific trade goods and the like. They might like the current set up (with its generous profit margins and high status) too much to join a revolution.
d) Elves have “completely unreasonable” restrictions on town growth, forest clearing, and the like. [They’re very reasonable, perhaps even permissive, from an elvish point of view.]
e) Revolution’s not a requirement at all; that’ll follow from player BITs. Other interesting settings could be Prince’s guard, negotiators from the (human) empire seeking allies, etc.
f) Geopolitics still up in the air. Perhaps the nation that lost to the elves is gone; one province now elvish occupied, the rest swallowed by a rival empire.
g) Common Enemy– perhaps the Orcs are spreading south, nastily… but their agents promise to spare the humans if they don’t fight for the elves. Can they be trusted.

Anyway, lots of seeds of ideas for discussion.

World Building “advice”

Ptolus Design— a handy article by Monte Cook, explaining how (and why) he chose to create his Ptolus setting. While the setting doesn’t really appeal, the process he used sounds like a good one.

Steve Jarvis has 101 Days of D&D, a great project about D&D– what he’s learned, what he’s considering, and more. Should be a valuable resource for a certain GM of ours…

Stakes and Dramatic Fights

Setting Stakes: (From this Forge thread)

– Stakes setting is most successful when it doesn’t become bogged down and when it is a collaborative activity with everyone at the table.
– It needs to be addressed in rule books clearly.
– The stakes need to lead to good game no matter which way the conflict rolls. Success = fun. Failure = fun. (The word, discommode from Trollbabe is ringing in my ears, here.)
– Stakes need to be set before the dice are rolled or cards are played.
– Stakes should be linked to what the player has indicated is important about their PC on their character sheet (issues, Beliefs, etc.).
– When stakes are flat the conflict is flat.
– Stakes setting should also be a back and forth so that the participants buy-in to the conflict and are excited about the outcome.
– Following stakes setting should be a change in the table’s status quo leading to further excitement.

The companion thread ( Before Stakes: What is your intent) is also excellent.

Dramatic fight advice from an RPG Net Thread

Continue reading “Stakes and Dramatic Fights”

Next Game: Friday December 9th

HEAR YE, HEAR YE: GM Christmas party delays game. Report at Noon Saturday.

Let everyone know if you have any problems with playing Friday night. We’re looking at 6:30 start, barring any problems.

I’m looking forward to resuming here, at the edge of the dark.