Welcome back to our weekly rundown of some of the Internet’s interesting posts from the previous week. In this edition, we’ve got the end of the world, cities of the dead, sign posts, and diagrams. Let’s get cracking!
From the moment light hits our retinas we process color, intensity, and contrast, and it only gets better from there. Probably because of all our crazy visual hardware, we’ve developed lots of tools to our strong suit by displaying information visually. If you love diagrams and charts, what better use could you put them to than RPGs?
In this case, we have two examples, both from Keith Davies over at In My Campaign. In the first, he lays out a map, but not of geography. Instead, he plots out the path by which players can follow information through his under-development megadungeon. In the second image, Keith lays out the relationships of the Pathfinder SRD cleric domains. Nice work!
We can all use ideas for our campaigns sometimes. When you’ve got a bad case of GM’s block, you’ll welcome anything that breaks the traffic jam. In case you’re in need, here are a few items for inspiration.
Our first idea comes (again) from Keith Davies. Here, he’s mulling over gathering a collection of core plot ideas, much like a recipe, to work from when needed. Why not take advantage of your productive moments to bail yourself out later? You could even re-skin the ideas repeatedly, so the recipes aren’t just a one use tool.
Next, Steve Winter tells us why he loves the end of the world… at least in games. He gives a brief overview of the collapse of historical civilizations (read Jared Diamond’s Collapse for a great, in-depth look), and discusses why they make for fun games. I have a soft spot in my heart for this subject, so I’m a sucker for related posts.
The last two links are more specific. John Bell from Retired Adventurer offers an overview of the folks who live in his Necrocarcerus setting, a city of the dead, which, by the sound of it, offers endless opportunities for story. Finally, Scott Martin from Gnome Stew describes the history of slavery in Louisiana, and gives some ideas for how that history could inform your games.
- Campaign Cookbook
- Apocalypse or Post-Apocalypse? via Howling Tower
- Inhabitants of Necrocarcerus: Citizens and Guardians
- Building Cultures: Social Classes, The Lowest Rung (Part Two)
I’m always on the lookout for gaming tips, and, since you’re reading game blogs, I’m guessing you are too. As such, here are a few pointers on running games.
Ameron at Dungeon’s Master uses a rather drastic player action to illustrate the necessity of developing party goals, and, I might add, open communication. Shortymonster, in his eponymous blog, talks about how to manage the tension between PC freedom and plot progression. Finally, over at Critical Hits, the Chatty DM gives some suggestions on how to make encounters more exciting by making them matter to the players!