19 July 2008

Thinking Aloud and More

This is mostly me trying to organize thoughts in my head. I've been wanting to create a few stock RPG scenarios I could easily run for any group if a suitable occasion happened to come by. Creating a stand-alone, single session game, however, is rather more difficult than creating a session for an ongoing campaign.

So I've been thinking of some basic rules of thumb to aid me in the creation of such adventures. The most important is that the players should be able to grasp the game setting and characters pretty much instantly. Spending time explaining the geography and politics, even the physics (and metaphysics) of a game world before the game can commence is very tedious for both GM and players alike. What this means is that the game world should be one with which the players are all familiar with. Unless you're running a game for a group you've played with before in a particular setting, the "real world" is almost the only practical setting. There might be a few others that are familiar enough for practically everyone, such as a Western setting or a few other historical settings.

Obviously props like maps are always useful. But if you go to the trouble of creating a lot of props it would be nice to be able to get more use out of them than one session. Of course you'll have them ready if you wish to run the same adventure for a different group. But you could also create a "microsetting" that could be used for several different scenarios. My Beyond the Bridge setting is one such. Coming up with new ideas for small, self-contained settings isn't that easy, however.

Well, I'll let this stuff stew in my head, and maybe something fun will come out of it.

The other stuff:

Joss Whedon is still one of the greatest living geniouses. His Internet production Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is brilliant. The ending even managed to surprise me. I hope you had, or will have, a chance to catch it while it's still online.

The Last.fm website has had a complete revamp. I like it. You can still find me there by the username elcalen, if you want to see what I'm listening to. Or you can take a look at my artist page. I finally got the capitalisation of some of my tracks corrected. (Had to ask staff to do it. Apparently the capitalisation is set when a track is first scrobbled, even if I later upload mp3's with correct titles.) It had been bugging me for a while. I'm a total spelling nazi, and while the capitalisation of most tracks wasn't incorrect, the inconsistent use of different capitalisation between tracks was really, well, as close to my idea of Hell as I can imagine.

There's probably other stuff, but this post is getting too long already. So, later.

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