Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat of Disguise

More good stuff from Amagi Games, this time on PC "bases" or homes:

The home base, secret hideout, wizardly towers, fortresses in the woods; in fictional setting, many of the archetypes that roleplaying characters aspire towards are ones that develop and maintain interesting homes. Only a scant few games, however, have explored this territory in any significant depth. So, this article is a bit of a look into things that make a home base desirable, and ways that GMs can then use the (desirable) base to spur engaging action.

Those of you who played "old school" D&D will be familiar with the "end game" of building strongholds, and the sort of fun that can create, already. But there's no need to wait that long. Even if home is just a rented apartment or attic room in the city, or an abandoned barn on the outskirts of the village, can inspire players to "buy in" to the local community, and the campaign as a whole.

There's one little spot where I disagree with Mr. Kornelsen:

Try not to encourage detail that will never be used; spending loads of time creating things without a ‘return’ is annoying to many players.

Now, in Levi's defense, he's speaking directly of details that provide some sort of "home turf" advantage in conflicts. But in my experience, players love to map out their homes in loving detail and lavish them with all sorts of aesthetic improvements. I'd certainly not discourage this sort of behavior, especially if everyone understands up front that most, if not all, of these won't have any mechanical influence on the game.

1 comment:

sirlarkins said...

That's one of the things I like about Burning Wheel: it has a Resources section that pretty much requires every character to come up with an idea of where and how they live.

And I hear you on the lavishing detail bit. Probably the most extreme instance of that was a time my friend made an 1890s Call of Cthulhu character and we spent the remainder of the evening completing kitting out his flat using the 1906 Sears Roebuck Catalog. I think he had his entire reading library detailed volume by volume, including a whole section of spiritualist quackery. Good times.