Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Great Nocturnal Festival

The preview page with summary and bonus materials can be found here.
For me, Berserk 12 was one of the books I'd most looked forward to in the series. See, what I may not have mentioned in the past, is that I was introduced to Berserk not through the manga, the illustrated graphic novel style of Kentaro Miura, but rather, through the anima which ends horribly in the middle of things as 'season one', which was never followed up.
So this volume and future series really help to cement and clarify things for me and it's one of the reasons why I enjoyed this volume so much.
But what can it bring to the game table?
One, loyalty. Guts left the Band of the Hawk, but his own battle skills are so great, that those he lead in the past, the Raiders, want him to lead if he takes off again. This mirrors the character Salgaunt in Kate Elliot's series, Crown of Stars, where the main character, despite in essence having nothing, starts gathering, unintentionally, his own followers.
In a role playing game, actions speak louder than words. If the players showcase exceptional ability and treat their allies well, their names should be treated with respect by those who know them and their word should be their bond. Their allies will vouce for them and insure that those who are worth while allies, are introduced to other, similiar minded worth while allies.
Destiny is hard to see. I've mentioned it before, but if you can weave larger threads around the characters, you can pull those threads home. Griffith has relied on the Egg of the King several times, it saving him from Zodd and a poison arrow among other bits, but during his 'bad times', it was lost and he finds it by complete chance. But of course, it's not really chance now is it?
Showcasing unique events. When the laws of destiny are finally enforced, make it big. Have a demi-plane collapse in on itself. Have the players thrown through time and space. Have magic work odd world wide or something so large that the players have no choice but to stand up and take notice. Here, the group is cut off from the outside world and taken into what is essentially a miniature version of hell. It's a quick, brutal process but it's something that once seen, cannot be taken away. Prepare descriptions of what's going on around the characters ahead of time, try to have answers for questions that may crop up ready. Note down any game mechanics that may not work the same in this new place under this one time event. Michael Moorcock uses the conjunction of a million spheres in several of his tales for example. Large numbers make things seem large. Don't be afraid to use them.