Fronts and 5×5
Posted by docryder
So, before last week’s entry, I saw Dave Chalker post up a link to Dragon 429 on D&DClassics.com, which includes what he calls his ultimate 5×5 article. Having had a DDI subscription since 4e started, I had the eMag offline already, and finally read the article. I don’t think it would have been of much use to me back when it came out and I was running my last game, as I had few alternate plotlines (or they weren’t anything I chose to follow, as my players were fairly willing to follow my main plotline where it led). I’d mentioned using a calendar of sorts in past games (mainly World of Darkness games), and those are fine, but they’re not something I want to use again. But with this new game idea, I kind of thinking about how to organize the plotlines.
I’ve also become interested in Dungeon World‘s fronts, another way to organize a campaign. I don’t remember exactly where I got directed towards those, but I think it was The Tome Show. Anyway, I think the two different methods can intersect nicely. I think the 5×5 grid can contain the Fronts as columns, with the Dangers filling the rows. I may have to use 3×5 cards to do this, or set up a custom database like FileMaker or something like that, but I am going to experiment with this as a method of organization.
Otherwise, I’ve been tinkering a little with mythology in this new world. In fact, Monday I got a visit my the Muse at a very Tom Waits moment. To clarify that, I’ve heard a story, I think from Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, about Tom Waits discussing how he was once driving the 405 in the Los Angles Basin when he started getting an inspiration for a melody. In traffic, he couldn’t write down the tunes, and railed at his inspiration, begging his muse to hold off and come back later, when he could write down the melody. I simply got hit with inspiration just before bed, but it left me tossing and turning all night. I had a flurry of creativity the next day.
Most of what I’ve got so far is just sorting out the campaign front (in DW terms) and some of the adventure fronts for the 5×5 grid. I’m still hammering out a few details regarding what is true and what is mythology (“How did humans learn to create art, gods or elves?”) I realized that details like this are probably not necessary to figure out, and in fact the conflict is probably a good thing, as it gives the world a more real feel if different groups “remember” history differently. Although, I think having some myths will make the game more fun. I know in reading stories like Moorcock’s, having the narrative include the origins of some of the strange creatures the heroes met gave flavor to the world. I have an idea about the origins of lycanthropes, in those folk refusing a gift from the god/dess of the moon, who curses them to act like animals as long as the moon’s light is in the night sky.
Well, working tomorrow, and I’ve passed out once already tonight, so it’s off to bed I go. Later.