More odds and ends
(Note: this go-around, I’m not going to be linking to external sites. You’ll have to look them up yourself. Sorry. Just not feeling like doing it for you.)
So, the morning after I wrote the last post, I got inspired while in the shower. I’ve heard that J. M. Straczynski came up with his entire five-year arc for Babylon 5 in the shower one morning. I don’t know what it is about doing my thinking in the shower, but it seems to work. Mostly that day I was rethinking my history, incorporating some new elements I’ve been inspired to add. Those are kind of up for grabs, but I think they’ll work into the setting well. Basically, I’m thinking that there is something psycho-reactive in the StarSea that creates issues for those that live within it (i.e. everyone). This is more than just magic, potentially being something deeper. Whether that’s a direct impact or indirect is up in the air.
Some things I’ve been reading have made me decide to add a couple of minor elements to the descriptions of elements of the settings. One of those is the general level addition of expressing a theme and mood for the setting. Those two elements are something that almost every book that WWGS ever put out for the World of Darkness. I think these will be good things for keeping the focus of the setting and it’s feel.
I’m also looking at what the roles of the species in the game. “What do role do the Tau play in Warhammer 40K? How do they shape the players’ experience?” is the sort of questions I’m asking here. To answer that one, the Tau are the newcomers on the galactic stage. So, I’ll be asking that question of each race in the StarSea setting. Other companies have done it, trying to find unique play niches for different races (Wizards of the Coast commented on that in their 4e preview books, saying this was why gnomes weren’t included in the first Players Handbook). I think that is another one of those questions I need to keep focus in the setting. I can be prone to wander.
I’m also adding to the faction descriptions a statement of mandate or mission. Those are meant to demonstrate the direction that the faction should be taking; it’s sort of the theme of the faction. I’m also seeing the need to include information about the structure and society within the factions. For example, the Arcanists will have slaves and serfs as part of their society, which the Psionics won’t have. Those structural descriptions will also help shape the feel and mood of the factions.
I’ve also had some other thoughts on equipment, regarding how it’s carried. I’m still watching some of the Druaga anime, and I’m noticing in the second season that the hero, Jil, has a sword and shield that essentially pack themselves away when he’s not using them. I kinda like this idea. Outside of a DM being a turd, why should players have any reason to loose their weapons or armor? This is probably the reason I haven’t used rust monsters in a very long time in D&D. They just seem like a “neener-neener” sort of monster. I get that some DMs think they need to challenge their players by taking their gear in mindless fashion. I’d rather have the characters loose their gear because their opponents have best them, captured them and taken their gear, which they’ll then get back once they over come the enemy. Of course, the disarming attacks of villains such as Darth Vader and Rochefort are also infamous, but also more pleasing to the reader, as the weapon is rarely destroyed, just displaced, and the scene then more often becomes the hero’s attempt to recover his weapon. This line of thought is still a little nebulous to me. I think the pain to the player is why 4e removed the option, as what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and PCs are already in threat enough from the DM, so they went with the nuclear option there. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve seen the disarm in Savage Worlds, either, but I’ll admit I may have missed it. The original idea, that weapons in the StarSea are difficult to loose and frequently out of the charactes’ ways, is something I’m still thinking about, and may or may not exist. I doubt it’s even necessary, it’s simply a cool special effect I thought might have a place in the StarSea. Time will tell.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. Laters.