John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

Some Random Gaming Thoughts

First of all, sirfox might find this particularly interesting: Weirder Fantasy.

Second of all, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Sandbox vs. Railroad and Unlearning 3E Habits issues highlighted by my recent sessions. This led me to further rumination on the idea of What Is the Game About? 3.x (and especially 4E) put an unwarranted focus on "Fight, fight, fight!" Which isn't to say that the killing of monsters and taking of their stuff wasn't always a big part of the game, but as I rather incompletely observed when lamenting the loss of true rogues, in more recent editions combat has been "what the game was about," with exploration of the fantastic, scheming, and skullduggery being stuff that just interrupted the flow. Even if that wasn't the intention of the game designers, it was certainly the vibe created by the game mechanics and support material.

I'm still working out what I want to do about this for my game. In terms of game prep, the obvious thing is to put more emphasis on NPC plans and motivation and coming up with neat and weird things for the players to do/see/discover, and stop wasting my time on tricking out combat encounters. Mechanically, I'm also leaning towards halving the XP awards for combat, and adding a boatload of other XP awards to compensate, ranging from XP awards for treasure looted (or possibly awarding XP for "training," which would give the players something to spend loot on), to extra bonuses for completing "side treks," finding Ye Olde Secret Treasure Stashe [1], and so forth. I'll work something out and present it to the group before we put it in action.

Third of all, and related to the point above, as part of the "level up" of the Sword Coast game I have decided to rework the Silver Coast map in order to line it up with the mapping guidelines in the Dungeon Masters Guide (which had not been released when I initially put it together). To tie it further in with my Grand Unified Theory of Gneech's Gaming Worlds (as well as make it a bit less of Faerûn's Sword Coast with the serial numbers scratched off) I will also be doing a bit of retconning of the history and geography of the region. It won't impact anything the player characters have done or directly experienced, except for a few name changes (the nation to the south of Argent will get a new name, and probably Coneyburr too). Mostly Argent as a nation will be built out a little more to be more consistent with the levels of wealth and sophistication established by the campaign, and probably the eruption of Thunderdelve will be more recent history. Fifty years is a long time for a nation to be just starting to recover from the effects of a volcanic catastrophe, even one as large as that. I will also be making a formalized timeline that will incorporate some of the key events from Red Hand of Doom, since elements of that campaign are leaking over into this one.

I'm also going to clean up a few continuity oopses (such as just how Nezannar got to be in Wave Echo Cave) while I'm at it. Again, nothing that will have a major impact, just a bit of narrative housecleaning, more for my own reference than anything else.

-The Gneech

[1] It's a handlebar made of diamonds!
Tags: d&d, dungeons & dragons, gaming, roleplaying games, rpgs, silver coast
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 1 comment