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Ck secrets...

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:29 pm
by Treebore
When my players go into a shop or interact with a vendor I model that location on one I recall, however dimly, from the variety of computer games I have played, such as Dragon Age, Witcher, Elder Scrolls series, etc... or one I recall from one of the hundreds of books I have read, and I have used real world shops that I have been to that had a "cool" feel to them.

No idea what my players thought of them, but I know it was much easier to write down a note in my game journals as "Used slimy merchant from Whiterun" to remind myself of the look and feel I was going for when the players character entered, rather than the several lines or paragraphs I would otherwise need to write.

When I run an NPC, I almost always base them off of a TV star such as john Wayne, or favorite characters from various novels. I always tweak them a bit, so my players never seem to recognize who I am using, so its all good.

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:32 pm
by Treebore
Yes, I am inviting all of you to share your "behind the scene secrets" that you use to make running games easier for yourself...

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:16 am
by Captain_K
I usually run things I do or recall or have done before.. I play with all new players every decade so its fun to run the old stuff for the second or third time. But recall.. I write my own stuff, from the world and history and my personal pub, or shop experiences overlaid to the armor (garage) or wizard shop (best buy).. you name it. great input, keep it simple, let it flow.. the flubs are as much fun as the inspired stuff.

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:22 am
by Treebore
When using published setting, nothing, absolutely nothing, is "canon", until I actually establish it is so in game. So don't ever tell me how it is in such and such book. I don't care, until I decide to use it, it isn't so in my game. At best its a myth/legend/Bard's tale, until I do it however I decide to, IF I decide to, in my games. That is when you know it is "canon", never before.

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:57 am
by serleran
If I make notes, which I don't usually, it'll be something like "Name of merchant, store, speaks like Rocky Balboa and has a mechanical arm."

In general, I keep towns and such small so I can remember the details. I don't want to run a town of several millions... especially when the group is only going to encounter less than 100 of them, most likely, with any significance.

So, basically, just 'signature' stuff gets recorded. I tend to keep a record of items available if the store is special, or I might just roll on any of a hundred charts I made just for it. Depends on my mood... sometimes I like to be surprised and the merchant may be that type anyway "oh, now, I thought I had that... looks like I do!"

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:33 pm
by Buttmonkey
I improv most of my encounters to some degree. I usually don't decide on the monsters' hit points until the middle of combat, particularly for the BBEGs. I balance that by doing almost all rolls in the open (I hide rolls for finding traps, detecting secret doors, and surprise, but I'm pretty sure that's it).

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:52 pm
by Lurker
Wellllll, now that I am running games for my daughters , my style of GMing has changed a bit.

Back in the day, I was like you Tree, with lots if locations people etc based off (some times loosely and sometimes almost carbon copies) things in movies or in books I read (I was never a computer game gamer, so didn't have them as reference points of fuel for ideas). & yes, It made it easy for me to have notes on cities, locations or even half though out adventures and not have 0 pages of notes to have to thumb through.

Now, with my girls, I am giving them creative license on the people they are meeting. They have a back story of growing up in the area of the town they are in - so are bound to have had friend acquaintances etc - but I developed very little of the specific NPCs they have met. For the first 3 games, everywhere they went for the first time, I had them roll a CHA check. A success meant they were favorable to them, a failure meant they were cold or stand off ish, a crit success or fail meant they were good friends or rivals ... Then I had the girls explain why this person liked/disliked them, was a friend / rival with them. Etc etc etc . Then as the game went on the girls role playing modified it.

This has made the game setting more interesting than what I would have had with it filled with stock characters. Plus, it has encouraged even more role playing with them. Especially when KFR rolled a friend that was an undersheriff ranger like her character, but her little sister rolled a 4 on the cha check (making the undersheriff ranger a rival) ... She has tried 3 games to do her best and overcome the animosity ... After last night, it has developed into friendly rivalry with a touch of sarcasm between them.

However, there are some NPCs I had set in stone from day 1. The gruff ole battle hardened over sheriff, a greedy (corrupt) mayor - which they haven't interacted with, and a few others.

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:33 pm
by Buttmonkey
Nice work, Lurker. That's practically Dungeon Worldy.

Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:16 pm
by mgtremaine
Generally town shops should always beed run like this famous cheese shop. ... S7TmxH2WVA



Re: Ck secrets...

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:18 pm
by Rigon
70% of the things my players do, I make up on the spot.