Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Man's Home Is His Castle (Sometimes...)


I've been trying to expand my reading base. I'm very comfortable with 'popcorn' fantasy like the old Forgotten Realms Novels, as well as stuff by Raymond Feist. I can generally read one of the Feist books so quick that I rarely buy them anymore because I'd be very annoyed.
At Borders, they were putting the various Doc Savage and the Shadow books on sale for $5 for an oversized rail thin magazine sized bit that contained two books. Having never read any Doc Savage, I figured it would be the perfect time to catch up and bought the first four volumes.
While I haven't sunk too deep into the novel, the introduction by Will Murray speaks of his Fortress of Solitude.
In previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons, there were rules for having your own 'castle'. Now it may not have been a castle per say. If you were a rogue, who back in 'dem days, was called a thief, you formed a thieves guild. A fighter build a castle, a wizard, a tower, and a cleric, a church. I'm not too clear on hazy memory of what the other classic classes did but the idea was the same. If you reached 'name' level, you could build your home.
In looking at such a dwelling, while 4th edition doesn't have any rules for them, the players should be allowed to have a stable base of operations. Sometimes they may have a powerful patron they work for. How well do they know the layout of their home? What is it about where they live that makes it home?
By making the player's home more than just a place to store their armor and equipment, the Game Master can make things more personal for the players if anything threatens their home. These threats can be physical and need to be fought off such as a rival guild, or they could be political. What if the current ruling body has it in mind to outlaw the religion of the party's resident paladin or cleric? While not specific to having a church as it could effect the players regardless, if they do have such a santuary, they are more likely to try to get to the root cause of that instead of just packing up the bags and going for the next dungeon crawl.
Make sure that players have a home to hang their hat in and that it's more than a place to store their treasures.