Friday, June 27, 2008

Checking In; and: "Sometimes An Idea is TOO Obvious"

Hello campers. Not sure where the last week went, but that does happen at times. I'm a writer by trade, and sometimes I'm just all "written out," even with the fun writing.

But! I've got plenty I want to write about (including my review of Cthulhu and my media influences), so several posts are in the chute, as it were.

For starters, I thought I'd post about a little something that I came across in the latest update of Pyramid (which, if you're not subscribed to you most certainly should be, if only for the "Suppressed Transmission" column).

At any rate, one of the articles this week discussed creating a list of notable NPCs to hand out to your players at the beginning of a campaign. It's a brilliant article and an idea so simple and useful that it's never actually occurred to me to do it before.

The gyst of the article is that by listing and describing the movers, shakers, celebrities, and legendary figures of your campaign setting (but not too many, mind you--the article goes into the "don'ts" as well as the "dos"), you not only create a sense of a real-life, living, breathing world, but you offer your players plenty of hooks to hang their backgrounds on and give yourself ammunition for stunning revelations down the road, so that when you bring in your legendary assassin par-excellance you get gasps of recognition, rather than the famous player retort of "if this guy's so infamous, how come we never heard of him?"

I'm going to immediately implement this idea for my ongoing Pendragon campaign, listing the various knights and other famous individuals and their clan/group affiliations. This should help play immensely, as it can be hard to keep our Sir Dodinas le Sauvages and our Sir Sagremore le Desirous's separate) And this will be a mandatory hand-out for all my future campaigns, and possibly even one-shots.

Speaking of one-shots, after getting a good dose of Lovecraft last weekend I think I'll trot out a favorite old Gaslight adventure for Des this Saturday. Should be fun!
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