Tuesday, 27 November 2012

4 Problems Every Village Suffers

Behind the Screen


As always, I've been working on a campaign for some friends to play in whenever I make it back to town to visit. Naturally, as I usually only am in tow for a few days, I have to make sure my games are resolved in a single night, since most players can't remember what happened in the previous game from 2 months back. This line of reasoning lead me to a concept that I want to share with you all:

4 Problems every Village Suffers

The concept is simple really. No matter where your players go in your gaming world, there are always four things that go wrong that the players can fix. Whether a tiny hamlet deep in the woods of a forgotten wilderness, or in some monolithic megacity in the far future, These concepts will always work. They are:
  1. The Pest Problem
  2. Strong Arm Tactics
  3. The Quest
  4. The Monster
How does this work? (Thanks for asking Mr.Strawman!)
Allow me to explain.

The Pest Problem: 
No matter where you go in the world, scifi or fantasy, there is always something that needs killing. Whether it's Rats in the basement, Alligators, morlocks or zombies in the sewers, spirits in the haunted cathedral OR snipers in the treeline, these PESTS are a nuisance to the folk of this not-so-happy berg and need to be dealt with. Rewards are usually offered, such as money, lodgings or some other supply based relief the players are in need of. This concept also works very well as an initiation rite for entrance to said gated community ("prove you're a friend, bring us 7 bandit heads from outside our walls and you may enter as a friend").

Strong Arm Tactics:
The players acts as a catalyst in this scenario. Either hired on as cheap thugs to do the dirty work of some higher up "Jimmy says pay up for you'll be sleeping with the fishes!" or are themselves the victims of said tactics "You don't scare us, you tell Jimmy to make himself scarce or we'll be coming for him!". This scenario also works wonders for drawing players into the plot of something much much larger, as the tough guys could be preying on someone the group cares about (a favoured family member, benefactor or that awesome merchant they seem to love).

The Quest:
The age old cliche of "I've lost the scepter of fantastic applesauce and I need you to find it for me". Simply put the players are hired to go find something that someone wants, whether it's theirs, someone else's, or was just lost long long ago. This scenario also works wonderfully as a search and rescue concept, with someone having been kidnapped or become lost, and the players must locate and get them back.

The Monster:
Something, a Creature, a Serial Killer, a Spirit, is stalking the town and causing some kind of harm. The players must investigate, locate and stop the entity.

As you can see, no matter the game, the era of play, or the players idea of what you HAVE TO DO, these 4 concepts will work to add flavour and ideas for any area players make it to.

And that, as they say, is that.
Until next time,
Rocks fall, everyone dies.
Bean out~

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