As a child, I got significantly sick reasonably often. As an adult, deal with seasonal allergies but hardly ever have to deal with colds, flu, et al. Occurs to me in this day and age of social distance that I don’t interact with a lot of people on a typical basis. Sure, one coworker is always sick due to her kids, but I used to be two cubicles away and am now a sea of carpet and three rows away, well, were I actually going into an office.
As is normal during a pandemic, I have been traveling. Had an amusing time driving to Petersburg to pick up tokens. Got there early, so did what you would expect and went to buy some flower seeds. We decided not to pass a box between two cars with different states’ plates in an empty parking lot of a BBQ restaurant while looking side to side to see if anyone was watching this movie moment.
No mahjong. Everybody is sniffling, coughing, sneezing, or whatever. Allergies, colds, or whatever confuse the issue. All of this while the point of the trip is the birth of my father’s first grandchild. Wash hands, indeed.
In the absence of Shadowfist Thursday due to early morning Friday flight and needing to clean up at home, absence of Traveller until shelter in place is over, and whatever else, I’ve been thinking about L5R characters. I’ve been thinking of writing a HoR module (again). Oh, the likelihood of my doing it is incredibly low, as I don’t like doing work nobody appreciates, but it’s something to think about when the news is almost entirely related to one thing.
Of course, conventions and other events, such as a Grand Prix (VTES) I was planning on attending, are not happening and there’s tremendous risk for anything this year, including kind of large events, but that’s depressing to think about.
While family would watch Office, the type of thing I might have suffered through when I was growing up when it was required to watch TV at all times after school and on the weekend, I did try watching some Southpark, but most of it was episodes I’ve seen, even though I’ve missed a bunch of seasons.
What is the point I’m getting to?
Of course, we need distractions. Whether working on decks or working on characters, gaming has given me plenty of distractions.
There’s no particular reason when I have long stretches of nothing else to do that I shouldn’t be writing up RPG material. Creating gets to be a chore at some point, but flipping through ideas is fun, and we all could use more fun.
My current kick is trying to figure out how to develop a Frog Clan NPC, whether to develop the City of the Rich Frog. Having studied more deeply the Kaeru School used in HoR4, it’s not actually bad. Beat down with a pipe is, obviously, the first thing anyone thinks of when it comes to samurai.
I have a vague plot in mind, but I’m unclear how to best introduce the NPC. There are different possibilities, where some ways are far better than others for making a NPC interesting to PCs. I have an idea of how I want the adventure to end. One of the challenges with a modular structure is making sure there’s enough material in the middle that is actually interesting without so padding a middle that an adventure feels overblown.
Beginning, middle, end. Neither too close nor too far.
“Distance” of a NPC to the party in the beginning (and, in the end). What does that mean? It means that how you introduce a NPC establishes a level of connectivity to the PCs. Do you want to establish an equal level of connectivity to each PC or not? I recall from HoR3 that one of the better NPC engagements in an early mod was elective, that some PCs had distant distance and others didn’t.
Does the NPC save the PCs (at introduction)? Well, that’s usually a bad idea as players don’t like NPCs being more competent than they are. Does the NPC need saving? That might be good, but I’ve saved NPCs in a group situation where the connection was too diffused across an entire party. Multiple NPCs are a good thing for letting PCs focus on the ones they care more about than others, but that just gets complicated with too much backstory for those who don’t care to engage.
Well, besides having more time to work on cleaning the house or whatever, maybe there’s an opportunity to actually write out entire adventures. And, if they don’t get used in a living campaign, they can be used when I feel motivated enough to run some L5R again. Or, reskin to some other genre. After all, there’s nothing new besides remixing what has come before. Well, I haven’t seen Frog Clan march on the capitol …
St. Patrick’s Day, as well. Em, I don’t have anything. I’m sure I’m far away from the two women I know with birthdays today (in more ways than one). I am wearing a shade of green at the moment, though it’s not one of my preferred shades. No snake thoughts. No Pendragon thoughts. I have a friend in Ireland that I’ve corresponded a bit with recently. I could help him more with reviewing his writing.
Other distance themed stuff could be how most of the people I update with life events through IMs are in China. Yes, I realize nobody uses IM anymore, but saying my DMs are open reminds me too much of a line out of Wheel of Time. This doesn’t have anything to do with gaming, though, so something of a blogfail.
Not the most informative post, but I think this lays some groundwork for a follow up after I flesh out a Frog or four for a future offering.