Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The fluff

I am in the middle of fluff.

Not literally, of course.

More like I am busy writing fluff for a couple games.  It is weird for me because though I can sometimes get excited by fluff and flavour it doesn't grab me like mechanics and numbers do.  Right now I am working on getting flavour text for Camp Nightmare working better, and that is a really tough call because humour is hard!  

There are a few good jokes in the game already because some of them came easily but to look at a concept and a set of mechanics and to have to come up with a joke so often stymies me.  It isn't like numbers where I can always just resolve to build a spreadsheet and make it work... if the joke doesn't come I don't have a place to look for it.  I just have to sit and wait for it to exist.  The game is silly and given that lighthearted theme I really need to keep the hits rolling, which ends up being a lot of starting at a screen hoping for inspiration and not getting any.

Some current pictures and stuff for Camp Nightmare are up on Facebook here if you want to check them out!

In other fluff news I am trying to sort out Backgrounds for Heroes By Trade.  I keep twisting around on myself on this one trying to sort out how I should structure people's history and connections to the world.  Initially I just had people select two Assets and two Problems and go from there, but it was big and without much in the way of guidelines.  Trouble with that is it is probably overwhelming to new players and veterans will just ignore it anyway... which means that it doesn't really serve a purpose.

My current design that I am fleshing out (which hopefully won't get scrapped like all the others) is to divide all kinds of Background into categories and make people pick one Asset and one Problem from each category.  For example, you have to pick one area of competence, which could be something like a trade skill, a knack for holding your breath, or even extra training in languages.  Then you have to pick an area of incompetence, which might mean that you have no idea how to deal with money, are illiterate, or are flat out hopeless with tools of any sort.

Currently I am planning these sections to contain Competence, Connections, Possessions, Goals / Committments, Personality, and Unique and Magical Stuff.  So your character might have:

Skill in Blacksmithing
Hopeless in Cities
A mayor who is your mentor
A sister in law who is your nemesis
Have a magic item
Be desperately poor
The desire to cleanse the world of demons
The inability to leave people to their fate
Inspiring speechgiver
Fear of water
Eyes that glow red
Cause dogs to run in fear

Heck, that might even be too much stuff to inflict on every new character.  At any rate it will definitely give people some things to choose and some places to start their roleplaying, even if some of it never really sees the light of day.

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