Friday, July 29, 2011

My Realms

So, amidst all of my other half-finished projects I've got the rumblings of a low- to mid-heroic My Realms adventure. I have the rough outlines, which I pulled together from about two weeks of my brainstorming sessions. Now I've done some concerted work on stitching the disparate elements together into a cohesive story and laid out the broad strokes of the encounters. My next step is to pick creatures for the encounters and run some playtests.

I decided to set the adventure in High Imaskar in the city of Skyclave. The idea of all those extradimensional spaces, giant flying insect transportation systems, and defunct magical architecture really hooked me. I won't give too much away, but I hope to write a series of MYRE mods set in Skyclave that make use of all of those elements. Just imagine - the rulers have forbidden access to large parts of the city because of dangerous magic. Who might want to get into those forbidden areas, and what sort of trouble might they cause if they do? That's what's been on my mind. Here's the teaser intro.

Our heroes are enjoying the breathtaking views from their redwing gondola on a trip to Skyclave for some much needed R&R, when suddenly there is a cry of alarm from the gondola driver as he is thrown overboard by a group of armed men. The redwing veers off course, and unfamiliar ground looms ahead as the gondola lurches under the startled redwing. Who are these masked men, and where are they taking the gondola? Our heroes must answer these questions, restore order, and get the gondola back on course if they want to live through the day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Birth of New Gods

Here is a setting idea I had a few years ago. I DMed about 2 sessions of the story in early 2008, right before 4e dropped. I never converted the setting (not that there is much to convert), and I don't think I'll use it again. The stories it has to tell are all longer than the games I have been playing lately.

Elevator Pitch: The world is in disarray because a new god has been born, who has yet to mature and find a way to control its desires and fit into the pantheon. The heroes must contend with a radically changing world as existing powers vie for control of the new deity and basic assumptions about the world are turned on their heads. Time passes oddly, plants and animals are relocated or combined, elemental forces are introduced into the mortal world, and anything is possible during a time of new beginnings.

Long Version: I envisioned the main villain of the story being a wizard (natch) who had imprisoned this infant god and was trying to steal its divine power before it matured. The PCs would begin their careers normally enough by investigating bandits and the like, but as time went on they would encounter more and more of these abnormal occurrences which would lead them to the infant god and a confrontation with the wizard.

I had read Beowulf around the time I was making this setting, and I wanted to play up a few elements from the book: bragging, treasure-giving as a method of creating loyalty (Beowulf, ring-giver), and family obligations. I'm not sure if that last one was actually present in Beowulf, but it was on my mind. I wanted players to get into their genealogy a little, know that their characters should respect such and such a person because he was so and so's cousin. I'm not sure how much fun that would be at the table, but I am intrigued by those relationships whenever they come up in fantasy stories.

There were no large kingdoms in this world. City-states control small areas of land, but there are vast swaths of unregulated territory. Even if someone claims it, unless the land is close to a large settlement the law enforcement is lax at best.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thoughts on brainstorming

It has been a long time since I've written anything. I've been busy with work, but I have still managed to get some writing done on my D&D projects. I haven't made any headway on the Slave Lords conversion, but I have been working on some adventure ideas for a Living Forgotten Realms "My Realms" adventure.

I do most of my initial brainstorming in a google docs file. I just date each entry and keep a long running list. I try to write down five to ten ideas every day. Sometimes I choose a theme, like 'villains' or 'strongholds', but sometimes I'll just flip to a random page in whatever book is at hand and use the first word I see on the page as my random seed.

I brainstormed like that for a few weeks with mixed results until I had a few days when all of my ideas started to fit together during the brainstorm session. I took those ideas and created a new document and just cut/paste to organize them a little, then started a focused effort to focus and refine my ideas. I like using the computer for doing some writing, but it gets to a point where I prefer the feel of a pencil on paper. That's where I'm at right now. When I like where I've gotten the ideas on paper, I'll type them up and try to get a group together to run it. I hope to have it ready by the time I get back to NYC this fall.