Friday, May 23, 2014

Always play with their minds (Maps)

As a storyteller, you should always do what you can to get inside your players heads.

Right now I'm working on building a map of Windsor, the setting of the game I may or may not be putting together right now. I felt it important to show that the Sabbat have control over Detroit. But to me, it was important to have a nice large Sabbat symbol near the border.

It may not look impressive in the photo on the left, but I'm not going for impressive. I'm going for menacing. When you look at the map below, it covers a good portion of the city they'll be playing in. When they reference Windsor, that's what they'll see. Almost unavoidably, the imposing bottom of the Sabbat symbol looms above - no matter where they scroll.

An object as simple as a map is a great way to remind players of the perils that are around their characters. Think about old world maps that show beasts in the oceans. Even then, they knew there wasn't literally a monster right there - but they were warning sailors that travelling the ocean is fraught with danger. Sometimes, players need that visual cue that they are not safe.

Side note - is it just me or does that green island between Detroit and Windsor look like a veiny dick?

Annnnd for geek reference... "Always play with their minds..."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Obligatory Introduction Post

I've been writing some these days.. there's a World of Darkness in my head back from the days when I ran some LARPs in Waterloo, Ontario, but that was like.. 12 years ago or so? I'm getting pressure from my wife and some friends to start a tabletop game of Masquerade and the problem is once you jump start the gears in my head, I lose control. The jump start occurred because I don't live in Kitchener anymore and the friends I'd be gaming with live in Windsor - a location that until now wasn't fleshed out in my world. As I started imagining how the darkness' taint would have changed the city, I inadvertently started something I could not control.

LARP, like many things, was great when it was good and terrible when it was bad. Oh the drama. Before the days of Vampire LARP, I began by playing in some Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Before that, I was just a computer geek who cut his roleplaying teeth on games like ZZT, Might and Magic, Ultima, Fallout, The Realm and others.

You can find me on Twitter @InDavesLife. I've been blogging for a while now, my primary site being Wargaming Tradecraft, the home of the Hordeblood Project. Go there for all sorts of learning when it comes to the hobby side (Painting, modding, green stuffing, and so on.) of wargames like Warmachine / Hordes, Warhammer, etc. As a side project, like this site, I also have Tech(nological) Tradecraft. If you want to view some of my art and photography, look no further than Deviant Art.

Here I'll be writing on topics from Storytelling, Narrating, Dungeon Mastering, world building, playing, theorycraft and whatever else needs to flow from my fingers. Most of my interest lays in the World of Darkness... which is unfortunate since White Wolf killed it. (Sometimes wonder if anyone there brought up the concern, "Hey, do you suppose killing our game system will have a negative impact on our revenue stream?") But I'll probably end up talking about some D&D and concepts that apply to any game too. Maybe I'll even talk some of my friends in to writing to give some other perspectives.