Saturday, May 24, 2008

To Have and to Hold...

Noisms continues to bring the good stuff. The man is just leaking brainstorm-fruit:

Realism and D&D make for uncomfortable bedfellows, as we all know. We probably shouldn't devote too much time to trying to make the game emulate reality. Even so, I've occasionally wondered why more DM's don't include the sort of background flavour events - weddings, festivals, religious ceremonies - that can really add to the feeling that the players really are in a world, not just in a crudely drawn dungeon map.

What follows is an example "encounter": a town in the midst of celebrating the wedding of local celebreties followed by a random table of situations that might befall or attract the attention of the PCs.

Myself, I use stuff like this a lot. My calendars are peppered with special events and festivals. Even if the PCs don't get involved themselves, it's important that world clearly go on around them, and without them sometimes. Special events are also great times for the big revelation. Paizo's first Pathfinder adventure, "Burnt Offerings", uses a local ceremony to bring the party together and start things rolling with a bang.


noisms said...

Calendars are a Good Thing, despite that meme that I sometimes see in people's signatures on which says something like "Nobody gives a f*** about your calender."

People who complain about the level of detail in campaign settings forget that most if not all such details can be great hooks for adventures.

trollsmyth said...

I have never understood that meme. First of all, the calender is more for my benefit than the players. Second, all my players have been interested in my calenders since I started making them. They want to know when the full moons are if they might be facing lycanthropes. They want to know how long day and night are when squaring off against humanoids or undead who are adversely affected by sunlight. They want to know what season it is, so they can dress appropriately and avoid fatigue effects.

This is all basic Adventurer 101 stuff. Yeah, I used to run games without it, but that means I still end up making it up on the spur of the moment, because these sorts of things matter.

- Brian