Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A is for “Amazing”

Today's Topic letter is “A”

I'm getting the post up a little late, sadly real life took it's toll.

MY Topic for today is going to be “amazing”

That's right, amazing, as an RPG topic

What I'm talking about here, some people call “the WoW factor” but in essence, it's what makes your games memorable

No matter how big the dungeon, or dangerous the traps, no matter how intricate a story line, often it's he little details that get remembered. The funny lisp you gave a certain vendor, or some catch phrase that got way too many laughs around the table one late night gaming session.

This is part of what I strive for as a GM, and there have been a lot of articles written about it, still I think there can never be enough said about this. Some of my favorite examples. Giving weapons a name. Instead of just “that +1 dagger” call it “dagger of the guard” and also, 4th edition D&D was big on this one, moving away from simple +# type bonuses, to giving things powers & abilities.

I like the idea, but I think there is a certain place for the simple basic mechanical bonus too, the weapon that's not quite magical but so extremely well made that eve “masterwork” hardly does it justice? Or some family heirloom that “always strikes true”

In the campaign I'm currently playing my GM has taken this to hear,t and because of it, we ended up with a near alignment shift in my character. He's done an excellent job of keeping things in this pathfinder adventure path interesting, veering from the per-written material in was that keep the game memorable, and the amazement factor for me, came fro ma simple +1 dagger.

The adventure listed a simple+1 dagger as a piece of treasure to be given from the ghost, of a prison wardens wife. This prison warden, in death tried to contain the ghosts, of the same prisoners that he had kept captive in life. The adventurers, team up with the ghost of his wife, and put a permanent end to these more malicious spirits allowing both her and her husband, to move on and find peace. The GM had been thinking about ways to name the dagger, make it more unique and personal in some way, and after some seriously deep in-character role-playing he decided I deserved something more than a simple +1 weapon.

I should note here, that I was playing Evil aligned character, short version, anyone but his immediate family could burn for all he cared, and he would do whatever was necessary to take care of him & his own. Well the GM in a moment of Epic brilliance, decided to Amaze me, and to not only reward me, but create a future plot hook and more role play opportunities. He gave me an intelligent weapon that was good aligned. It spoke to me, and instead of being a snotty, uppity snarky good aligned weapon, it recognized my good deeds, even if the motives weren't so pure, and over the course of the next several adventures it has been slowly steering me towards an alignment change. The other players, who's characters are brother & sister to my characters, have noticed the changes, it's become a focal point and introduced several new sub-plots for us.

We've steered clear of agencies we would have previously embrace,d we discovered horrors in our family passed and vowed to write the wrong our ancestors committed, we have even started to build a reputation as do-gooders in the local area. For a rogue, a witch and a sorcerer, none of whom is good aligned, it's quite an achievement, and all because my GM didn't want to give me a simple +1 dagger.

That's Amazing, and that's what will make me remember this campaign for years to come.