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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
A little toy gallows with a box of Scrabble-like wooden letters beneath it; if a PC investigates, they find themselves inextricably transfixed into playing a game of hangman; you then actually play hangman with them - if the PC wins, they get an awesome reward, and if they lose, they turn into a little wooden figurine of themselves hanging from the little gallows.
I just stole the hell out of this.
Early 3.0 Campaign:
The party (a motley lot of non-good alignments, save for one guy) had been interrogating a captured Lizardman and were getting nowhere with him, so they decided to let him think about things overnight before they executed him the next day.
The only good aligned member of the party, the Cleric, taking a measure of pity on him, wanted to use Alchemy to create a drink that would help calm him and deaden the pain of the upcoming execution. I made the roll and failed miserably. So, because of my roll (the result of which I kept secret) the Lizardman died a horrible twitching and foaming death by poison instead. The Cleric picked up the nicknames "Pastor of Disaster" and "The Sinister Minister", despite his protests that he was only trying to help.
Same here. I spend a lot of time creating a homebrew setting that I hope is interesting enough for players to want to "be from" rather than some other place. I do allow portals from one place in my homebrew to another, but not other worlds or dimensions.
Probably not the worst, but possibly the most overused. I played with a guy back 1e days whose every character was seeking revenge for the murder of his father/sensei/mother/chartered accountant/you name it. EVERY character. But what made it even funnier (and he does it to this day) is how he uses the wrong words to mean something else. For instance, his back stories all centered around (in his words) the character's personal bandanna. What he meant was "vendetta". But he didn't know the right word so he picked one that sounded a little like it.
Now, 30 years on, this has become part of our gaming lexicon and whenever anyone seeks revenge it's a "personal bandanna". We even made up our personalized bandannas once. Just because.
Sorry for the thread derail, but what it boils down to is the worst character background was always the best he could come up with; revenge for the death of someone.
Dennis Baker wrote:
You can find some really decent artists' galleries on deviantart.com.
One of my favorites is this guy sinammonite. He concentrates mostly on extinct mammals and dinosaurs, but he does really good work. I populate my homebrew with a lot of extinct mammals as replacement for more modern ones for flavor, and his work inspires a lot of that.
A series of games strung together in a story arc is my preferred method of play, with a fairly equal balance of roleplaying and action. The roleplaying should be focused on the plot, not wandering around buying rope for the next dungeon crawl. That can be handwaved unless absolutely necessary, though players should still have the freedom to develop the personalities and goals of their characters.
I really miss the days when my group could get together every week, or even every two weeks. We would get into some serious roleplaying, character development, and story development. Now we're doing good to gather once a month and our sessions don't last as long as they used to (because we're old) so none of those things really take place anymore. We used to have whole sessions where it was nothing but roleplaying without a single die being cast.
I've begun a weeknight group of early 20 somethings (friends of my son) so they have a lot of enthusiasm that my primary group (we've been at this nearly 30 years) seems to have lost. Up till now these sessions have been rather short as we usually wait for all the players to arrive (some don't get off work until 8 or 9) so our sessions tend to be a bit short for their liking. We're hoping to change that by the next game. I have high hopes for putting some of the stuff I've missed back into the game.
I meant to edit my earlier post and add this, but got taken away from the computer by other circumstances. I want to add that you've done exactly what I've been trying to do with one of the religions in my setting. I may steal your idea... lol.. Seriously, though I really won't. That's yours, Orthos, and it's great!
Everyone has written something to expand on just the names of places, so I'll give it a shot.
Unkhoor: also known as "The Painted City" or "The City of Bridges" is the largest city known on the continent of Nehlas. It is a huge island that sits in the middle of the Pelo River and is the capitol of the nation of Kelvesiin. It is joined to the east and west banks by six immense bridges, three to a side. It is called the Painted City because all the buildings are painted in bright, garish colors. The island rises to a peak of sorts where the Palace of the Veiled Queen is located, and the rest of the island is divided into five socio-economic tiers, with each one descending being a bit less affluent than the ones above.
Dar-Shalul: Another large city in the nation of Kusoonoor, Dar-Shalul is a city in decline. Once the heart of a great kingdom, its fortunes have faded and many sections of the city are nearly abandoned (save for less savory individuals and organizations) because the populace has either moved into the heart of the city and making it more crowded or have moved away to other towns and cities.
Damul: The capitol of the nation of H'Nakva, a paranoid military theocracy that has largely shut itself off from its neighbors. Marikan is a dark, dirty city whose citizens live in constant fear of the secret police and being reported by their neighbors for things both real and fabricated. Military service is mandatory for both men and women, with each gender serving side by side from the age of 16 to 20.
Qarikan: The capitol of Sesnakhar, Qarikan is the City of Temples. Much more a theocracy than its neighbor, it still worships many of the darker and more dangerous gods of the old ways, which for the most part have been abandoned in the other of the Four Great Nations. Rumors of humanoid sacrifice abound, and there is evidence to support these reports. Citizens who try to flee are turned back at the borders and sent to prison or worse.
The majority of the time we play without a map, mostly because that's how we "came up" playing. We usually don't even have a central table; just people on couches rolling on the end table or coffee table. I've used maps when playing in a space that allowed them, and they're very handy. But we manage without them.
Sorry for the derail. Carry on.
I've been wanting to run it for years. I got the book 10 years ago as a bday gift, but no one seemed interested in it but me. :(
Magical means aside, my campaigns always used messenger hawks and falcons. Yeah, I know. Not as smart as crows. But I didn't think of them first... lol.
The Aztecs (or the Mayans) used a foot relay throughout their empire whereby long distance runners would carry messages, either written or verbal, to other runners until the message reached its destination.
There was a Dragon Magazine article on this very topic back in the mid 80s sometime, too.