Monday, January 29, 2018

Fetch me a roc

In my Heroes By Trade game with my family things are going really well.  Pinkie Pie enjoyed the first simple adventure she got to play in but was only so so on the treasure at the bottom of the sunken temple - a ring of silversteel entwined with roc feathers called Breeze.  She was in love with the idea of grabbing a fancy axe and chopping her enemies to bits, and the fact that she is a warlock who uses implements like wands, flutes, and silversteel rings entwined with roc feathers hardly deterred her.  Wendy and I eventually convinced her that since her character is a warlock who uses magic to attack people an axe is not the correct weapon but she still eyed the new special weapon with suspicion.

But oh, I changed her mind.

After her character carried around Breeze for a few days I had her character have a dream where she carried Breeze up to a roc (a bird the size of a large building) and when the roc gave her a feather she built it into Breeze and then flew away on new magical feathery wings.

She was delighted.  She figured out that Breeze meant for her to find a roc and get a feather and immediately started asking where she could do this.  Breeze had gone from a treasure she had little care for to the most interesting thing in the world.

I was so pleased.

This design is part of the core of Heroes By Trade.  When you find a magic item it usually doesn't do anything right away.  Most of the time you have to figure out what the item wants, what its purpose is, and perform some kind of difficult task.  Some tasks are challenging but straightfoward like getting a roc feather but some can be extremely difficult indeed.  Thing is, once you have taken the time to figure out where rocs are, gone to locate one, figured out how to get a feather without getting eaten, and finished up your magic item you are never going to forget it.  The powers you unlock will be all the sweeter because you earned them and they have a story attached.

I am not going to make her wait forever to get a roc feather.  I know she wants to fly and I want to let her have her fun.  But I am going to make sure the adventure is a big one and she remembers finally activating Breeze.  One thing I really want to make sure of is that when people play Heroes By Trade the magic items they find are memorable and never interchangeable - so far it is working out perfectly for Pinkie Pie.

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