Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Picture Pong with Semiurge #4

Semiurge has sent me this picture, in order that I might explain it to him, "if [I'm] so great." You see, we have this humorous rapport where I write droning articles about mythology or GMing and he cuts me down to size with a hip Epstein reference before launching into media-relevant fiction and worldbuilding. There's nothing left to do now, except play my part.  

 Giorgio de Chirico

Look at these things. These people with towns for torsos. Puts one in mind of the cover of Leviathan or other depictions of social organism. In the context of roleplaying games, they also remind me of a useful lesson:

Apply Existing Tools in Creative Ways

Think of these giants on a random encounter table. Suddenly, you get to use any rules or preparations you made for shops, rumors, and other town matters at the drop of a hat. Now you have access to more of the procedures you wrote, allowing you to fill time as you desperately come up with something interesting in the meantime.

Use random loot tables as random room tables, and to determine what loot the the trap you rolled on your random trap table looks like. Use random encounter tables as reaction roll tables. Figure out how to repurpose procedures, maybe swapping which attribute gives a bonus to the odd roll. I once tried to use an existing d12 astrological sign table as a reaction roll table. That failed, but hell if it wasn't a good instinct. You can take the instinct too far, but think of the elegance of how D&D likes to define one magical effect by analogy to a well-known spell.

And if all your campaign-specific tables and procedures reinforce your campaign-specific themes (as they should), repurposing them will maintain whatever themes you're shooting for in the first place. I wish I had written urban encounters for my weekly Okucenza game, but by reinterpreting the wilderness encounters it means I can still hit on miraculous phenomena, religious figures, and the legacies of war I'm trying to hit on.

Just my thoughts, Semiurge:

1 comment: