Sunday, 18 July 2010

[Trouble Caster] Agenda, Principles, and Moves

TC Agenda
  • Let the players shine.
  • Breathe life into the world.
  • Watch mayhem ensue.
TC Principles
  • Gush forth gonzo fantasy. It's not just a temple, it's the Jeweled Temple of Jazarduan the Jaguar Goddess. He's not just a pirate captain, he's a half-djinn sky pirate lord. Cultivate the craziness and throw in plenty of fantastic imagery.
  • Showcase the sights. Be the player's eyes and ears. They can't see the world, so you have to sell it to them. Be descriptive and flowery, and give them the clues and cues they need to build the world inside their own heads.
  • Things happen offscreen. Don't freeze the unobserved world. Things keep moving once put in motion.
  • Respect the rights of NPCs. Just because they're not personified by another human being sitting at the table doesn't mean they don't have agency. NPCs have plans, motivations, and agendas too. Push for your NPCs, and make them real threats to the characters.
  • Welcome wanderings. Give the players the power to move off the beaten track, and suddenly fly north instead of east. Don't push one course of action over another. Let them digress and dig themselves into holes.
  • Make maps like crazy. Nothing beats physical artifacts for conveying relationships of space and time. Make maps of dungeons, maps of cities, maps of castles, maps of relationships and maps of time. Show the players where their characters stand.
TC Moves
  • Open a dungeon.
  • Drop wandering monsters.
  • Roll on a random table.
  • Terrify with traps and trouble.
  • Call for the guards.
  • Pray for divine intervention.
  • Set forth a journey.
  • Offer an opportunity, with a cost.
  • Make your monsters act.
  • Demand payment in gold or blood.
  • Surround them.
  • Capture them.
  • Feed them rumours of treasure and trouble.
  • Terrorise the villagers.
  • Bar fight!
  • The Kraken wakes!

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