Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ripped From the Headlines

Perhaps it's just my inner bibliophile rising to the top, but I recently ran across an article in the online Times of India that I thought had great gaming potential:

Secret chamber in National Library

The chamber has lain untouched for over two centuries. Wonder what secrets it holds. The archaeologists who discovered it have no clue either, their theories range from a torture chamber, or a sealed tomb for an unfortunate soul or the most favoured of all a treasure room. Some say they wouldn't be surprised if both skeletons and jewels tumble out of the secret room.

(Read more: Secret chamber in National Library - The Times of India

The story as-is would make a great drop in for a Pulp Action or Horror campaign, depending on whether the GM wanted to emphasize the skeletons or the jewels. Actually, a secret room with no obvious way to get in seems like it would fit perfectly in a Lovecraftian game, as the innermost sanctum of some unfortunate wizard. It's probably filled with Hounds of Tindalos or something. And hey, new idea - dial back the horror elements and you get a great set piece for a DFRPG session!

On a less specific note, the article mentions that the building the room was found in, now the national library, was originally a royal palace and then, for a while, a governor's residence. This suggests some interesting possibilities for designing, for example, dungeons for a D&D-fantasy game - that door into a corridor with no floor might have a perfectly reasonable explanation, such as a now-nonexistant staircase. And hey, what's this walled-off section in this room full of books . . . ?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Sci-Fi Setting Idea

"In the early 22nd century, a colony ship set out from Earth, bound for a nearby star system with a recently discovered Earth-like planet. When the Adventure arrived, the first crew-members out of suspended animation were quick to notice that, although the planet is approximately 25% larger than Earth, the gravity is within a few percentage points of Earth-normal. This mystery*, however, quickly took a backseat as catastrophe struck the vessel. A string of critical malfunctions caused the Adventure to begin sinking slowly towards the planet. Working quickly, the crew managed to bring it to more-or-less intact landing on the surface – but not before several chunks of the population had taken to the escape pods and rocketed off for parts unknown. Several generations later, a wide section of the continent upon which the Adventure landed has been mostly settled (centered on the crash site itself, which has become the location of the colonists' main city), and the Adventurers (for so the colonists call themselves) can afford some time from the business of surviving on this new world to searching for their lost kin."

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Hi, everybody!

Years ago, a Dungeons & Dragons-playing cousin of mine told me he thought I would make a good DM. At the time I had little to no interest in tabletop gaming, and so didn't take the comment too seriously. After several years of exposure to gaming-related geek culture (not to mention seeing one of my favorite series of books being adapted into an absolutely beautiful game – hello, Dresden Files RPG!), however, I'm beginning to suspect he was probably right.

Certainly, although I've had a number of ideas about games that would be fun to run or play in, all my knowledge of gaming is purely theoretical. This blog, then will be kind of an archive of those ideas, getting them down on paper (so to speak) for easy access should I ever get the chance to participate in an actual game. This will largely take the form of world-building; setting descriptions, character concepts, that sort of thing.

Perhaps not coincidentally, when in the past I've tried my hand at writing fiction it's always the settings and characters that were most interesting to come up with, leaving plot a distant third, so we'll see if I get any farther writing them this way.