So, I’ve been struggling with something these past two weeks. Put simply, most of my “writing” has been for games, and leaves me with little mental space for actual writing or novels and short stories. For every time I think on a story about a man, his demon-touched wife and their item shop, I think about my supers game and how my firebug npc is getting out of jail to pursue the love of his life aka one of the players, or I reflect on the life of Merric Silverhorn, my Storm Sorcerer Tiefling, and his personality and goals, or I plan for a one-shot I want to run in a few months, or a potential game I may run even further out, or or or
Quite frankly, I do so much creatively that I’ve been avoiding putting on this blog because it is gamer related, and it makes it seem like I’m not actually doing anything at all. So, I will still post stories and chapters when they get finished, but I also am going to post more about the games I’m running and what plans I have cooking.
For example, I spent a lot of time today (2.5 hours) catching up with a good friend of mine over the phone and he ended up telling me a little about Stargate: Universe. The conceit of the show was that the characters ended up on this massive vessel floating through the farthest reaches of space with no idea what the ship was, and spent a lot of the show exploring it. He was hoping to run it in a sci-fi game, I got a great idea for a fantasy game. Potential problem of running the same game twice averted when we realized our two games would be very different. He would focus on getting the players to random planets, I wanted them stuck in a complex setting, similiar I suppose to Maze Runner.
Current idea in rough form, DnD 5e as system:
The players have spent months suffering from terrifying dreams. They wander halls of copper and brass, where strange giant wheels of metal grind and turn. Pillars rise and fall from the floors, cracks of lightning race between doors. As they travel in endless depths of machinery the noise grows and grows, until they wake, ears ringing from the crescendo. Only this night, they do not awake, safe at camp or within the walls of the local inn. Instead they awake to a room lit with strange globes of light, and brass walls. With two doors leading away.
The room will act as a “home base” giving the players a relatively safe area in which to rest, heal, and store loot. There is a community of sorts in this forbidding machine city, other souls who wander it’s depths looking for answers or exits or power. The place itself offers the necessary supplies for life, food, water, light and heat, but little else unless the players find or create it. I’ll probably allow some sort of teleportation between “safe houses” where perhaps the players have gained access to more rooms by kicking out the current inhabitants (plenty of nasty evil creatures and people could be conquesting the area so no need to feel too bad about being murder hobos). I definitely want a cult that worships this place as the “Forge of Creation” thinking it will allow them t recreate the world into an Utopia. The cult is controlled by an arcanist mindflayer that does actually believe the location will allow him/her/it to control the world. Also a crazy halfling rogue with one arm and a repeating crossbow. Lost his arm in a gear after pulling a lever and believes that Death lives in the walls, stalking him. May use the name Moloch for the place, after Ginsberg’s “Howl”. Another npc is a young thief, maybe 10 who accidentally ended up here, but has become quite good at slipping through the area and has found more than one secret door. Could work with the gnomish mapmakers I’ve also got planned.
The biggest thing is, no one has any idea where this thing is, or what it is. The biggest part of this settings appeal to me is that the setting is inscrutable and potentially the villain. I like it being a cage or prison for something foul and beastly (was leaning towards Baphomet and the place being an ever-changing maze that even he cannot find his way out of) where the players could easily get lost. Also, for example, they may find a switch, press it, and a few days later hear that a group was displaced by water suddenly rushing into their area. Now the question is where did the water come from and why is it moving through this area, what are they setting in motion and what happens when certain parts and pieces meet.
Definitely needs some group buy-in upfront, but potentially a lot of fun to mess with people and have them really feel a sense of dread and discovery.