Thursday is a Vampire! Put a Stake in It!
The snow blew through fast, and I wrapped up the adventure I was working on while the vestiges of snow battled the sun. The sun won. It always does.
This week has been a blur. No pun intended. Lots of phone calls have been interspersed with the writing and the scheduling and the gang is doing a bang up job. Sometimes it feels like a real effort to coordinate all the bits and pieces, but all the Blurry Ones are really in a groove of late, so I want to give them a big shout out. You know who you are!
Ed Wetterman and I had an opportunity to chat a bit yesterday, and our conversation turned to random tables. Something he and I both like quite a bit. If you’ve picked up our products, you know this to be true.
The reasons randomization tables are your friend are numerous, so let me enumerate:
1. …means never having to say you’re sorry (you don’t have an adventure). A good bunch of random charts really kick starts your mind and enables you to quickly and efficiently come up with an adventure when you’re stalled out.
2. …don’t have to be random. You can cherry pick from them and quickly create an adventure or, in the case of random NPC/creature tables, rapidly turn a normal creature into something radically different in a few easy steps.
3. …enable you to look at things from different angles, expanding your own ability to develop materials on the fly.
4. …keeps your players on their toes. Just the sheer fact they know you can trick and tweak creatures rapidly means they’ll apply a bit of caution to every scenario. In Realms of Cthulhu, for example, players–even those well schooled in the Mythos–are not going to throw caution to the wind with the expectations of being able to handle every thing thrown at them. Even if they look at the tables, there are just too many permutations to take into account and, if anything, they may be even a bit more cautious. This bleeds over to tension and that is something you definitely want at the table of a horror game.
I said Thursday is a Vampire, because it wants to bleed you dry. You’re in the null space between the mid-point and the end of the week, and if it were a part of the skies, it would be the doldrums. Today, I beat the Vampire. I had a stake made of iron discipline, nutmeg, and maraschino cherries and I emerged victorious. I hope you do as well, but beware, Friday can sometimes be a sneaky so and so…
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!