31 October 2012

Idle Thought on the Eve of NaNoWriMo

It is less than an hour before National Novel Writing Month begins, and I am faced once again with the question of whether I will (or can) participate. My proclivity for perfectionism would seem to preclude this activity (in an earlier attempt, the word count of my notes was equal to that of my novel in progress), but it occurs to me that if I force myself to take a much lighter approach, I might be able to accomplish this task (which is to write a novel of 50,000 words or more within the month of November). A lighter approach would be much easier if I could approach it from the angle of writing a novel that would be of use to me in another area of interest, such as, say, gaming. Not only would the novel be a source of material to use in my gaming by way of creating adventure seeds, non-player characters, and background information for a campaign setting, but gaming itself could inform the novel. I'm not proposing to convert specific experiences at the gaming table into a novel, but I am contemplating the possibilities of thinking about my novel from the point of view of what I as a gamer would enjoy if I were playing it instead of reading it.

This plan is so crazy, it just might work!

16 October 2012

Magic Item: Wand of Surprise

My first improvement upon the wand of wonder, the wand of wonderment (q.v.), increased the number of possible effects from 19 to 100. The wand of surprise not only doubles this, it offers the wielder a modicum of control determined by the wielder's technique. The following article was originally written as a system neutral randomizer, but has been adapted for use with dice and the Original Role-Playing Game (as well as its offshoots).

06 October 2012

Magic Item: Wand of Wonderment

Some of my players are partial to magic items that have random effects, and one of their favorites is the infamous wand of wonder. The wand described in the original AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide had only 19 different randomly determined effects. My version has 100 different effects, because variety is the spice of adventuring (and because the greater the chaos, the greater the entertainment value). The following article was originally written with no system in mind and was meant to be used online, but has been adapted for use with actual dice and You Know What Role-Playing Game (and its relatives).

01 October 2012

Magic Item: Nighty Nightcap

Also known in more pedantic circles as the cap of perfect repose:

Nighty Nightcap

This cap, when donned, will lull one into a deep, restful sleep lasting precisely eight hours, after which it will slip off, allowing one to awaken fully refreshed and alert. During the magical slumber, the wearer will be utterly oblivious to all sounds, smells, lights, jostlings, or other incidental stimuli occurring in the vicinity including earthquakes, hurricanes, meteor bombardments, clog-dancing, and other bothersome disasters. The slightest deliberate attempt to wake the sleeper, however, even if it is the merest whisper, will rouse the wearer instantly, causing the cap to fall off his or her head and cancelling the rejuvenatory effects of that slumber. To place the cap on a subject who is aware of the attempt and actively resisting, the instigator must make a successful "to hit" roll. The subject is not entitled to a saving throw, but can be roused quite easily by anyone attempting to do so.