Saturday, 5 July 2014

V is for Vhat An Idiot

So here I am, deciding to pick up the old Alphabetic Blog Posts again, and what do I do?  I post stats for the DCC Vargouille, the Wampler, the Xorn, an alternative Yeti, and both Zarias and Zombies, when I am at the end of the alphabet. And I do not make use of the format to help fill those letters.


In other news, I have decided to honour Vanguard's request (note another V) with not only a goblin class, but two goblin classes, based on the monster write-ups I had done for RCFG. This is going to be part of a product, but I am going to ensure that Vanguard gets a free copy because (1) he requested the class, and (2) apart from that request, all I got was the chirping of crickets when I asked what people would like me to address. So, Vanguard gets all the XP and levels up.

Meanwhile, I suppose I should do a better "V is for...." than this rambling.  How about

V is For Vagabond Villains

Are your PCs rootless wanderers, who murder people in the middle of the night and then abscond with their stuff?  Well, the rootless vagabond has a history in Appendix N, most notably in the wanderings of Robert E. Howard's Conan and Solomon Kane.

Even so, most of the protagonists of Appendix N fiction do have a home, even if it is only a squalid apartment over a tavern in Lankhmar.  I have discovered that my players like to have home bases for their characters, even if those characters are going to travel far. One group uses the Old Silverjohn Place in Mermaids From Yuggoth (found in In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer), while another group has recently cleaned out much of The Mysterious Tower (DCCified) for their own use.

Even if you are not going to "play out" romances at the table, it is nice that the DCC system of character creation has prompted my players to think about who their characters were before they became adventurers. Some characters even once had family before they were displaced in time by entering an elven howe.

Wandering far afield is great, and I strongly encourage it in my games. Having a home to come back to, though, makes the characters a little more than vagabond villains, the so-called "murder hobos" that the game sometimes inspires. Connections to a "home" imply a larger world, though, and a consistent one at that.

Which reminds me of projects that I should be working on right now.  So I had better wrap this up.


* Don't write a series of posts starting with V, W, X, Y, and Z, and then decide to continue writing alphabetic blog posts picking up at U.

* I have writing projects right now to carry me through into autumn, but if you want me to talk about something here on the blog, or if you want me to work on some specific product that you would like, you should let me know.

* Even Conan settled down in Aquilonia. Your PCs can have homes, and those homes need not prevent them from adventuring. The vast majority of Appendix N protagonists are not rootless vagabonds. They just need the opportunity to set down roots. You may find that ties to community enrich their (and your) experience.

* Although a threat to the PCs' home is a real motivator, do not overuse this! That will simply mean that the PCs never establish ties to anything, anywhere. The vast majority of associations with a home base should be safety, comfort, and opportunity. The estate sale at the end of The Hobbit was not a major plot point, and served only to show that the world "back home" kept moving, and to drain a bit of Bilbo's treasure. The Shire only had to be Scoured once. Overuse this at your peril.

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