Friday, January 4, 2019

The First Step Down The (Game Designer's) Road

I assume that only GMs read my posts, but just in case … Spoilers for Changing Seasons! 
Inspiration to make a new game setting can come from anywhere, especially if you’re talking about mini-settings. Pint-sized PDFs that can inspire a whole campaign. 
This month, I created one pretty much by accident, but first a journalism history lesson. In newspapers, stories have an “inverted pyramid” format with important broad strokes up top and descending down to less important details last. Most people assume  this is so you can read the first paragraph it you are in a hurry. 
The truth, though, goes much deeper and is rooted in different bits of technology.
When the telegraph and early telephone were around, reception sucked and lines could go down unexpectedly. If you didn't send the important news first, you had half a story. 
Not only that, but in  the last decade of the 20th Century New a paper layout was literal. You laid out strips of news stories on a page that already had ads at the bottom. If a story can too long the designer could Trim it to fit, safe in the knowledge that The last paragraphs were a minimum loss.
The lesson being that technology and formats highly impact what writers  do. As you can see, I changed the header of the Changing Seasons adventure in just under a day.
We went from:
(Left header) Cypher Adventures, (Right header) Fantasy
to
(Left header) Emperox's Road,  (Right header) Changing Seasons.

In a lot of products, the left header is for the name of the game line or the current book if it's big enough to have several chapters. If you open your Cypher book, you’ll see that format. 
For keyword searches, Cypher Adventures maybe a great idea, but it’s not very exciting. I needed something that sounded cool, might inspire me for further adventures and be distinctive. I already had an adventure in mind that involved some sort of changeling and doppelganger, so that eventually inspired the title fo the adventure itself, Changing Season. 
That made me think, what could further enforce the theme. Cicadas were a random thought and suddenly, I had giant, body-snatching cicadas. After that, the adventure pretty much wrote itself. 
That still didn’t solve the “Left Header sucks” problem, though.
The weather in Florida is going from life-sucking humidity to pleasant-to-be-a-human cool right now, so I’ve been taking walks and doing some of my thinking. Walking by the road, I think about what it would have been like to walk down an ancient Roman road back in the Middle Ages and BAM! I now have the idea using a road network as a mini-setting. And a lot of others would have left it at that, as a slight nod to real history. 
Part of world building is asking, “What’s next? Why is this thing really important?”
In a world filled with supernatural danger and far from civilization, would a paved road really be that much of an asset? The road would have to be something special to make it worthy of being the centerpiece of the setting. 
Thus, the Emperox Road has each cobblestone inscribe with a glyph or a rune, warding the road not only from regular wear and tear, but also (allegedly) the supernatural. To a vampire, crossing the road would be like crossing running water. 
You notice that I threw in allegedly. If it’s one thing that gets RPGs and GMs in trouble, it’s absolutes. Once players think they have immutable law in the game world, they will try to use it to their advantage, which is great. But when such things go from clever thinking to routine crutch, the game experience can start to suffer, either from the silliness of the cliche to outright boredom for everyone at the table. (This bit is highly subjective. Perhaps the silly bit becomes the in-joke everyone loves.)
So there’s a short paragraph in the adventure that insuiates that while the Emperox’s Road can general protect you, or even a town from minor supernatural dangers, there’s no guarantees. Stronger entities can muscle their way in. Parts of the road are failing or that it’s all superstition anyway. 
Regardless, the glyphs do nothing for mundane bandits, murading armies or Bugbear chieftains.
The lonely Emperox Road also give a sense that most places are their own, bits of civilization just barely connected to other bits with long stretches of wilderness in-between. For GMs, this is a great set up for running adventures without sweating local politics. It’s also great for a game designer because it means that adventures can be pretty much stand alone, no need to set up a large scale map and also increases the odds of a GM’s impulse buy.
So at this point, you can sort guess that when a writer or game designer says that inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere it’s an understatement.
Changing Seasons hits DriveThru in December 2018.
Love what you’re reading? Not only can you get the Cypher goods early, but also discover exclusive
early 5e content, world building and related fiction on my Patreon! You can also check me out at DriveThruRPG.com

38 comments:

  1. 토토사이트,안전놀이터,토토,토토사이트추천,먹튀검증,사설토토사이트,메이저사이트,안전한곳만 추천해드리고 있는 토토닷컴입니다.여러분께 신뢰로 다가가겠습니다 읽을만한 훌륭한 글 https://totoosites.blogspot.com/2019/06/blog-post_25.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. At the point when a game contains hard-coded rationale or game standards, or utilizes exceptional case code to render explicit sorts of game articles, it winds up troublesome or difficult to reuse that product to make an alternate game. Simpsons Tapped Out Cheats

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was reading some of your content on this website and I believe this site is rattling instructive! Retain putting up. Nonton Boruto

    ReplyDelete
  4. We should make a plunge directly into what is seen as negative about gaming.snow dragon

    ReplyDelete
  5. DREAMY-메이저사이트인 토토사이트와 안전놀이터 배팅사이트 추천 안전함이 최우선으로 보장되고 있는 토토사이트의 메이저사이트를 드리미가 추천합니다 강한 토토사이트를 사설토토사이트에서 메이저놀이터로 즐기실 수 있는 최고의 안전놀이터 추천을 경험하십시오 메이저 사이트.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. MM free mod apk

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!! w88coid.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I trust you will share such sort of amazing substance again with us so we can use it and get more favorable position. mgm바카라

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. domino online

    ReplyDelete
  10. A debt of gratitude is in order for imparting decent data to us. I like your post and all you share with us is exceptional and very enlightening, I might want to bookmark the page so I can come here again to peruse you, as you have made a magnificent showing. 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  11. Moreover, it gives simple control which can be tweaked without anyone else setting. best left handed mice

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. house of fun free spins 2019

    ReplyDelete
  13. You bear through a awesome vacancy. I sanity definitely quarry it moreover personally suggest to my buddys. I am self-possessed they determination be benefited from this scene. software negozio

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pretty! It was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information.
    mu online

    ReplyDelete
  15. You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. https://mygemfree.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post. playboy888 ios download

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have added and shared your site to my social media accounts to send people back to your site because I am sure they will find it extremely helpful too. 먹튀신고

    ReplyDelete
  18. That appears to be excellent however i am still not too sure that I like it. At any rate will look far more into it and decide personally! 라이브카지노

    ReplyDelete
  19. I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. Ketquamoinhat

    ReplyDelete
  20. When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. interior designer london

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is cool post and I appreciate to peruse this post. your blog is phenomenal and you have great staff in your blog. pleasant sharing keep it up. 해외스포츠중계

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance. Latest & Bugs Free Version

    ReplyDelete
  23. I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! Tubidy Mobile Music MP3 Downloader Download

    ReplyDelete
  24. instruments and assets for your utilization – the absolute best Affiliate Marketing data to amplify your Practical Knowledge. Utilize that Knowledge you find here and get an Edge On Success.blog comments service in 1$

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on. 윈윈 먹튀

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just like the valuable info you supply for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the following!
    Game PC Terbaik
    Situs Slot Online
    Berita Game Terbaru

    ReplyDelete
  27. Such an exceptionally valuable article. Extremely intriguing to peruse this article.I might want to thank you for the endeavors you had made for composing this amazing article.

    daftar game terbaik
    game pc
    info olahraga

    ReplyDelete
  28. I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information click here

    ReplyDelete
  29. (for example my profile) toward the finish of the article. I generally remember the URL of my site for the asset box. Backlinks service

    ReplyDelete
  30. Since the dragon was an emperor's symbol in China, non-royals were prohibited from wearing this. In World War II, American women's skirts had restricted lengths because of a ration on fabrics. This just shows that fashion has a significant influence in people's lives. It has been part of us, though we are not aware of it.

    pastel lollipop spear fishing high-rise leggings

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nice post. I discover something much harder on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content using their company writers and practice a little something from their website. I’d opt to use some with the content on my own blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link on your web weblog. Thank you for sharing. pubg mobile

    ReplyDelete
  32. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. tipstogames.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I see your blog daily, it is crispy to study.Your blog is very useful for me & i like so much...Thanks for sharing the good information!

    game android terbaik
    game pc terbaik

    ReplyDelete
  34. You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this... monsterlegendzfree

    ReplyDelete
  35. Other than this, there are metal pedals which are movable to in excess of 6 situations as indicated by the stature.pubg boosting

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well-Written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can't pause to read more posts. Thanks for the precious help. เซียน ส เต็ ป 69

    ReplyDelete
  37. gadgets yet the absolute generally enormous of them I have highlighted beneath which can upgrade the best gaming abilities in the 2018 with no particles of uncertainty. play chess for free

    ReplyDelete