Tag Archives: campaign-setting

City Government Power Bases – Land

What forces govern your city? In many societies, landowners have great power. With all the economic, defensive, military, and strategic benefits land provides, most governments use this as a starting power base for their regimes. For high fantasy games, consider land as an abstract concept that encompasses many possible dimensions. Land can be the ground, the clouds of sky realms, the flames …

City Government Power Bases – Religion

What forces govern your city? Religion, spirituality, and ideology make excellent government power bases because they are powerful sources of influence, prestige, and affiliation. Religion and cosmology varies from campaign to campaign, but it’s likely gods do exist in your world and they imbue certain, devout followers with spells and special powers every day. Even if your current campaign has …

City Government Power Bases – Magic and Psionics

What forces govern your city? We resume the city design series this week with thoughts about how to use magic and psionics to build interesting city government power bases. For the purposes of this article, magic and psionics are treated the same. Your game system might make this thinking incompatible, but hopefully you can take the thinking that follows and apply…

Life & Death in RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

March 2011′s RPG Blog Carnival covered Life and Death in RPG . Full XP to everyone who participated with insightful and inspirational articles, and thanks for your contributions. Readers, you are in for a treat as you have many articles to choose from this month. I encourage you to read through them and make life and death more memorable elements of your games. …

City Government Power Bases – War and Military plus Software Giveaway

What forces govern your city? A strong military is real, solid power. A city with a skilled, well-equipped and well-led army can protect itself, fend off its neighbours, go on a conquering binge, and keep its own citizens under control, though not necessarily all at once or in that order. A politician with a private army can often get away…

Life, Death, and Life Renewed – March 2011 Blog Carnival

I’ve put the “Reinventing Pulp” series on hold for a week in order to do a short article for this month’s Blog Carnival, which is all about life and death in RPGs. The series will return next week. One of the problems with a campaign that spans multiple game systems is that there are parts of the rules systems that …

City Government Power Bases – Social Leverage, Marriage and Wealth

What forces govern your city? A power base is an asset you can use to achieve goals. It serves as a foundation or tool. You can wield it like a weapon, use it like a tool or draw upon it like a resource. Governments are typically boring game elements. However, design a power base for each government or government agency, and you turn them into NPCs of…

City Government Power Bases – Leadership

What forces govern your city? Popularity Being popular earns a government a lot of power, though it is always a fragile thing. Think of popularity as a form of temporary affiliation . Popularity is often restricted to a subset of urban society – you can’t please everyone. Strengths With a large amount of consent, a government can rule with fewer objections and roadblocks. The will of the people can …

City Government Power Bases – Law and Affiliation (plus NBOS software giveaway)

What forces govern your city? In the introduction last week I covered the goal of this series, which is to use the idea of power bases – where do fantasy governments, government officials and factions get power and influence? – to make your cities interesting places to adventure. Each part in this series will cover two or three power bases in detail…

City Government Power Bases – Overview

What forces govern your city? The topic of city government causes GMs big yawns. Other than picking a government type, you find it a difficult city element to make interesting for game sessions, adventures and city design. However, it is an important part of urban environments that should not be ignored. And it does not have to be a difficult or boring thing. The key is …

40 Great Name Resources, Lists and Generators

Names resources for your games Great names are critical for immersion. Name an NPC Bob and you set a bad tone for any serious campaign. However, even the best GMs get stumped occasionally on generating great names. Following are links to several online names resources, lists and generators. Before diving into the links though, I have a naming tip for you. We’…

Stiff Upper Lip: Thinking about nations in RPGs

I’m interrupting my series on Psionics to bring you this timely post on sports and nation-building… As I write this, the local TV host is replaying highlights from the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Since Johnn is Canadian and I am Australian, both Commonwealth countries, we find our respective nationalities on opposing sides. It’s a somewhat interesting event, this time…

The Mind’s Eye: Examining Psionics, Part 1 of 5

Lately I’ve been thinking about Telepathy quite a lot. I know that a psionic character will be joining the team in the next phase of my Zenith-3 superhero campaign, and I want to have the a solid handle on all the wrinkles that come with it. I want some simple analogy that I am instantly familiar with – as will my players – to enable me to grasp …

Pulling That Lever: The Selection Of Leaders In RPG Societies

Nobles from ancient Mede Okay, so for the first time since we started this online magazine/blog, one of us has missed getting a post up. Johnn struck problems with his planned post at the last possible moment, and then tried to rewrite it but missed the deadline; thought that he would be able to get it up a day late, …

Eureka! – Some inspiring notions

There is a cooking show in Australia (it actually started in the UK, and a US version was recently announced) called Masterchef Australia. The goal of the series is to identify and winnow through the best amatuer cooks in the country until they are left with the one best cook of the bunch, who gets $100,000 and a book deal. Along the way, they are expected …