There was a comment to my last post that read:
In a recent BLOG POST, I touched upon Time Travel as a technology or mechanism that could be introduced into a Shadow World campaign. Tricky, right?
A lot has been written on time travel in RPG’s and if you have ever allowed it in your game you know it can generate great adventures but create a lot of hassles as well. Some suggested solutions are only allow travel into the past, time travel only occurs in alternate timelines that don’t affect the current one or there are side effects to encountering yourself in the past etc.
For those that want to utilize it, ancient advanced technology is a narrative aspect to the Shadow World setting. Advanced technology was not just achieved by the Althan/Ka’ta’viir civilization in the 1st Era, but also utilized by several other notable cultures during the Interregnum: Taranian, Jinteni & Worim.
When we think of technology in fantasy role playing we often visualize laser pistols, laser swords, shield devices, power armor—objects that are just more powerful version of standard fantasy weapons (crowsbows, swords, armor etc). I posted up an older file on using technology in SW here, but the convenient fact is that although it’s tech, it can be handled easily within the RM fantasy magic rules. Laser Guns cast “Firebolts”; Lightsabers inflict Electricity, Fire or Plasma Crits; Anti-grav belts cast “Levitation”, etc.
One of my previous blogs discussed the “Many Flavors of Shadow World” and I felt like expanding on a few specific adventure environments that we’ve used that really enhanced our campaign.
- Underwater adventures. Having your players adventure underwater can add a new dimension to your SW environment. Lost cities, shipwrecks and new races can all be encountered and the challenges of breathing, moving and fighting add a new strategic element to group tactics and abilities. My current I.C.E. module submission, Priest-King of Shade, is focused on water/underwater adventures and environments. It’s in edit/review and hopefully will see print in the near future.
I thought I would go a bit off normal topics to discuss Netflix’s most recent series: Stranger Things. The series is a nod (actually more of a trope head-butt) to 80’s science fiction and fantasy and written and directed by brothers steeped in early fantasy gaming. The show starts with a group of boys playing D&D in their basement—the game narrative establishing the plot and structure of the rest of the series.
As we gather here, of primary importance is to answer this question: what is this “Viir”, as we now call it, this seeming essential force that permeates our planetary system? Let us review. It’s been almost 75 years since our orbital sensors first detected these energy emissions. Tachyon detectors, plasma traps, electron screens and a variety of other particle shields all registered this force—all of them. Is it all of these? Or is it something altogether new to our reality?
After decades of GMing one of my greatest challenges has been to consistently invoke the feeling of surprise, wonder, fear and even caution into gameplay. While they may not be “jaded”, my gaming group have seen it all: there is no plot device, game trope or foe that will truly surprise them. We will probably never replicate the wonder and surprise we felt gaming when we young teenagers but I would still like to instill some caution into my players—they often make decisions based on the assumption that every encounter is perfectly balanced or that they will get bailed out by “greater forces” if they get in over their head.
For those that feel like table-top RPG’s are a stagnant market or that there is no growth opportunity for ICE, RM or Shadow World I would point out two facts:
- There are an average of 27 new forum members per day on the ICE Forums. That’s not a lot but that’s incremental growth. Every new member will be able to see the development of RMU, the large number of resources in terms of thread topics, file uploads and Q&A’s that are available and the active participation of product authors. Being able to get quick and detailed responses from the RMU developers or Terry himself is pretty cool—especially to a new ICE customer!
Just a quickie today. This is an update to a post I made last year. I promised to let people know if I found a solution to a problem I was having getting regular updates from rpol.net.
I was looking at some of my old posts this week and I discovered the Getter PBP Notifications post in which I promised to update people if I found the solution. A few weeks ago I did solve this problem!
There is an Android app called RPoL Notifier [Unofficial].
One of the more enjoyable elements of my past campaigns has been creating an opposing group of NPC’s that compete or thwart the party as their characters grow in experience and power. Seinfeld had his “Newman” and Indiana Jones had his “Belloq”; a fleshed out contra-group can add a personal and competitive feel to the gameplay more than just another nameless villain or mob-boss. Over a long campaign the relationship between the groups can evolve based on their shared experiences and conflicts and eventually lead to a final “reckoning” or confrontation.