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2014-06-24 Distractions

Instead of writing a ton of tables I find myself wasting time. It’s sad.

  1. I waste time reading a ton of posts on Google+.
  2. I waste time fiddling with software used to run wikis.
  3. I waste time writing posts on said wikis.
  4. I waste time writing posts on said wikis complaining about writing posts on said wikis…

What I should be doing instead:

Write a ton of tables.

Pearce Shea recently posted Storing Information, Playing Information, Dungeons on his blog. The part that stuck with me as far as setting description and session prep is this:

  1. “maps and keys are facts about the game world” – this is the static information you base your game on
  2. “tables and charts describe […] possible facts” — this is where the referee gets to also play the game

Another interesting was this: “As a GM, I don’t want to run the kind of dungeon we discover together, because of things like stakes, and fairness and me not being amazingly good. As a player, I really, really, don’t want to explore a dungeon we discover together with the GM, for all those reasons and more.” I thought of my need to believe in the independent existence of imaginary worlds.

On the whole, Pearce’s article is confusing and now that I went back to it, I had trouble finding the passages I thought I had read. At the same time, the article set something off. An urgency to write down the relevant facts about the game world, right now. An urgency to write tables for actual use. Think about the possible non-player characters, monsters, items, buildings, and so on. My problem is that I’m a visual person and I close my eyes and I see a vista of where the game is going and think to myself: “That’s cool!” But it’s not, not yet. It needs more.

The techniques to be used against improvising the entire adventure or railroading the party through the vision I had earlier that day:

  1. map
  2. key
  3. lists
    1. lists of monsters looking for a fight, random wandering monsters
    2. lists of people with names and jobs and interests and friends and enemies
    3. lists of things to see and do, these also provide topics to talk about
    4. lists of valuables to find and trade
    5. lists of spells for spell books
    6. lists of treasures in the area

OK. This is going to be my goal for tonight.

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