Friday Links for October 9, 2009 (a day early)
Hi all! I'm going to be gone tomorrow, so I thought I'd post my Friday…
While working on the upcoming Brick by Brick: Floors product (follow-up to Brick by Brick: Doors), I stumbled across a strange idea. If context is so important for everything in a game encounter, do we sometimes need some sort of inspiration to determine how the PCs have come to a particular place?
Arriving at a particular location can happen through any number of methods. Usually those methods are dictated by the PCs themselves and their movements in the world. A GM might drop any number of hints, suggestions, or invitations to nudge them in a particular direction, but ultimately (in my own games anyway) the decisions is the players’ as it should be.
But that shouldn’t prevent a GM or DM from planning some contingencies or having some ideas in place. In fact, a GM might have numerous ideas on how a party might get to a key location in their world and plan accordingly. Or they might just react to the PCs on the spur of the moment.
Writing encounters and setting up locations however, it’s good to offer some clear ideas on how the PCs might come to a given place. Regardless of the place itself, how the PCs arrive can offer some intriguing story possibilities to tantalize a GM’s creativity pretty quickly.
Let’s talk about a few of those possibilities…
Even before your PCs set foot in a particular map or location, they came from somewhere else with a particular agenda. Though the encounter that brings them here may have certain rules of engagement, it’s often helpful to consider how your PCs came to a place to set the stage. Determining the PCs reason for being there can often open up possibilities you may not consider otherwise.
Also, as your PCs are exploring other locations you may be preparing for their eventual arrival in other places. If you plant the seeds in other adventures, your players will often demand that their PCs head to particular places to resolve loose ends and plot threads from earlier in the story.
Here are just a few of the possible reasons the PCs have arrived at a particular destination:
What’s your favorite way to get the PCs to a particular place? Care to share any examples from your own campaigns?