Monday, February 13, 2017

The City: Gaming Inspiration Points

The City  can easily be used as the source of bits that can be used for gaming.

1. Unique Weather Events: In my review, I mentioned that the countryside suffers a record-breaking deluge of rain. It kills thousands and displaces tens of thousands.

2. Elements Pertaining To Events: "In the Great Storm the rains had come down too hard and fast for the sewers and storm drains to cope, and the narrow streets of the Armoury had become raging rivers. Many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people had died in the flash floods, drowned in the seething streets or trapped helpless in their homes. It was rumoured that the City's gravediggers could not respectfully lay to rest all the corpses, and that after dark for weeks afterwards carts rumbled through the night carrying the dead out to the Salient to be dropped in the sea."

"It was a battle such as she had never known before, a battle in slow motion. Both sides were handicapped by the water and thick sticky mud, but the Blues had somehow managed to get themselves armed and organized with astounding speed. the City warriors were groping around in the knee-deep water, trying to find swords, breastplates, spears and helms. Meanwhile they were being attacked by waves of Blueskin soldiers."

A huge weather event can change the landscape. It can make a one verdant forest a burned out plane. It can make a dirty road a knee-deep mud pit. Use the unique elements to throw some curves at the campaign.

3. Named Locations: "It was built more than five hundred years ago for a companion of the emperor. She loved all beasts and birds and creatures of the sea, and you will see many throughout the house. It is called the House of the Creatures of the Earth." That sounds like a place for an adventure.

There is also bringing the name of a location to it's purpose. "If the emperor's feasting hall as designed to impress, then the Serpent Room was intended to inspire unease. It was not a huge room, on the scale of the Red Palace. It was wide, but quite low. And everywhere, on ceilings, floors, walls and furniture, were snakes. Painted, carved, stuffed, and live slithering ones in glass tanks.... "I imagine that its designers, whoever they were, hoped to arouse fear in visitors, to put them at a disadvantage."

4. Tattoos As World Building. "He heft a large tome and read, "Cryptic Codes: Formal and Informal Insignia among Armed Men." This segway into "Over the course of the morning the old man tracked down three of the smaller tattoos he had remembered on the corpse's body, and found that the soldier had served with the 24th Vincerii, and the Emperor's Rangers, two decades before, who then called themselves the Lepers, and he had fought at the Second Battle of Edyw. A distinguished service, indeed, although there was little to stop any fool of an impostor having the tattoos insribed. But Bartellus remembered the many old wounds on the man and believed his tatooedd friend was an authentic soldier."

By having tattoos associated with specific events, people, places, and times, the world gains more depth and dimension.

Stella Gemmell's first solo novel, The City, is filled with various bits just waiting to be yanked for gaming purposes.