We have talked about creating a celebration; now it's time to think about the celebrating. I wanted to simply entitle this piece “Celebrate Good Times,” but if you think about it, not all celebrations are good times. Some are somber occasions, some are evil revelries, and some are just gatherings. Some of them get perverted over time, picking up new meanings and changing into new celebrations. Keep in mind that there are two formative aspects of celebrations in our games: Player-designed celebrations and GM-designed celebrations.
In all role-playing games there is a time to kill and a time to die, but often we have time to celebrate too. These celebrations are created by the GM, and Players just seem to show up for the encounter. But what is the point of all this killing and dying if we are not living? What do you live for?
One way we express the desire for living is by celebrating!
We create characters to send them on mighty and terrifying adventures. Whether designing for action adventure or deep knowledge, we strive to use the rules to make these characters the best they can be. In earlier posts we have discussed ongoing character development, and even the possibility of character death and its impact on the setting. So what about the tradition of retiring characters?
The world is a visual place, and the same is true of your campaign world. Speaking as a game designer, art is one of the most important aspects of a game. Don’t believe me? Crack open a Monty Cook game or your PHB: high-quality art is everywhere, and it brings up immediate responses from viewers. Set pieces like Horror on the Orient Express and most of the popular Pathfinder games also come to mind. At the campaign level, if you have access to good art you can convey a better story. I can't even think of a character that I haven’t tried to draw at the gaming table.
What goes into a good horror story or game? Good question. After much internet research, I have come to a general theory of how one should create the horror story, as well as the various roles PCs might play within it. This article will explore this theory from a player's perspective, to help you help your GM with the game.
Stages of Horror
As we start to embrace horror as a roleplaying genre, we also start to teeter on the edge of our own personal fears, and lines we do not wish to cross. This brings up the subject of two meta-gaming tools that are very important to the game: the Social Contract and the X Card. Many of you are already familiar with these tools, so we will just go over them briefly here.