Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Setting, a thought

It occurred to me this morning, while I was driving to work, that there are a few more important elements to the setting that I hadn't earlier articulated.

The world is divided into two parts. There is the part where the PCs are from and the part where the PCs are adventuring in. That's not to say that all of the PCs have the same homeland. Far from it. The important part is that the PCs are far from home during the aventures. They are always outsiders.

It also occurred to me that we're going to have to strike an important balance between too much and too little information about the setting. The game will benefit from a strong and well-directed setting. However, too much information can only serve to distract players from what the game is really about.

What it's really about: Becoming rich and famous before you retire.

If all the game revolves around the rich & famous hook, then I don't see how we can possibly go wrong. (yet)


Mark Causey said...

Left their homelands to become rich and famous? Then that should be the definition of the Classes.

Exiled Prince(ss) - Can't return without repairing his/her reputation or without the power to overcome his/her rivals.

Seeker of the Ancient - You need something dearly to break the curse and save your dying lover. You'll need all of the fame and money you can muster to garner the attention of those who know about its location.

Applicant for the Bardsong - Bards don't make it to the highest levels of their craft without something to back it up.

And, etc. Does that work better?

Eric Provost said...

I agree that the goal of rich and famous should help define the classes. However, I think that the game is stronger when the classes define the how instead of the why.

I think that the why is better left to the individual players.

Mark Causey said...

The How ... hmm, interesting.

How does one become rich in this world? How does one become famous?

Given I know how D&D did it and what your answer is likely to be, you've got:

"Kill things and take their stuff"

The act of killing (monsters, in this case) facilitates the becoming rich (they can't take their stuff with them). But, in itself, doesn't facilitate the becoming famous (except amongst the audience).

Is the fame an in-game concept or a meta-game concept? Because, if it's the latter, then killing things and taking their stuff is perfect. If it's the former, however, then shouldn't some focus be given to the methods of becoming famous? Or am I reading too much into this?

Eric Provost said...

You're not reading too much into it. You're just overshooting the point I was trying to make.

Killing things and taking their stuff is how the characters become rich and famous. But how do the characters kill things and take their stuff? What tools do they have at their disposal for killing things and taking their stuff?

Those tools don't have to point directly at either of the tasks either. The Bear's ability to make the sun rise and set at whim is not, on the surface, about murder or thieving. But I think it's pretty clear that having control over the motion of the heavens is a tool that can be used for those purposes.

So, I want to define the classes by the goal of rich and famous indirectly. I want to know what kinds of tools they might have at their disposal for murder and thievery. Music? Demonic evil? Ancient technology?

Methods? Yes. Methods for killing things and taking their stuff.