Sunday, July 18, 2010

For The Love Of Mike

One of the things that popped up several times during my viewing of Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, was the Big Guy's vocabulary including his catch phrase, "For The Love of Mike." A Catch phrase can be a useful role playing tool for both players and game masters. They are common in the super hero media for example and range from "Up up and away" to "It's clobbering time." These battle cries or exclamations can have many different origin points.

Naming the maneuvers. While it may seem silly, how many times did authors in the past drag out the process by which Iron Fist summoned up his attack, "Like a thing unto iron!". Very common in the martial arts world and the supers media. Also somewhat common among wizards and other spellcasters back in the day now that I think about it in campaigns I played in.

Activating the Magic Items: One of the first advnetures in 3e had a sword whose frost properties only activated when the user chanted the name. It was a handy trick to give to a player who normally didn't do much talking. He showed up, rolled his dice, but didn't speak much. Giving him the sword didn't turn him into a talking machine gun or anything but it did help bring him out a little and could work well for using implements or items that have a daily use.

Religious Excalamations: In a fantasy setting it'd probably be very popular for a warrior whose taken by surprise to shout out "By Tempus" or something along those lines.

Famous Events: "By the Fallen Spires!" or something specific to your campaign. This has the added benefit of fleshing out your campaign setting a little if the players know what the specific incident referenced actually is.

Battle cries can be a quick way for players to identify NPC's or to make their own character's stand out at the game table. Don't understimate the utility without first trying it out.