Everything has to happen somewhere, and that means that locations are an essential element of RPGs and RPG settings. And that makes locations a worthy subject for this month’s Blog Carnival.
Posts I would like to see as part of this month’s carnival are:-
- How do you choose a location?
- How do you represent a location if you don’t have a matching Battlemap?
- How do you modify a location to achieve a specific story requirement?
- Location Descriptions: There are places each of us know because that’s where we live, or work, or grew up. GMs who don’t have that advantage can use that knowledge. Describe the places you know – a town, a suburb, a city, a state, a building. But don’t describe it physically, with facts that can be gotten from a Wikipedia page or a government website; try to capture the flavor of the location, as briefly as possible.
- Location Descriptions Take Two: And then, try to shift the location in time. What will it be like in 50, 100 years? What was it like 50, 100, 200 years ago? What would it be like if it was transplanted to an equivalent location in a fantasy location? Or a moonbase? Or a space station? The more variations on your description you can offer, the more likely it is that it will be of use to someone else.
- Location Descriptions Take Three: If you’re still looking for ideas, you could describe one or more fantastic locations from one of your games. Or talk about how you created it. Or both.
- How do you improvise a location if the dice indicate a random wilderness encounter?
- And finally, anything else you can think of concerning locations, how to choose them, describe them, use them.
A recent article that I posted here at Campaign Mastery might be helpful: The Poetry Of Place: Describing locations & scenes in RPGs. One of the reasons I’ve been holding back on this blog carnival topic, which I’ve had in mind for some months, is that I wanted to have that article available as a reference for participants.
I have ideas in mind for all of the above topics to appear here at Campaign Mastery. Whether or not I get all of them done, or burn out on the subject before I get that far, is another matter. But it’s a big topic, with plenty of scope.
Finally, a piece of information that might be of interest, and of relevance: I once talked at length with a real estate agent about how they value properties. I thought that there was some system, that you set a base price according to the size and number of rooms, type of building, etc, modified it for proximity to amenities, shopping, parks, etc, then applied a factor of some sort to represent the typical relative value shift of the location – some suburbs are worth more than others. But oh, no, that’s not the case at all. It’s one part historical records for the region, one part adjustment for the current property market and general demand for property of that type, one part the value at which neighboring buildings were sold, one part guesswork, and one part chutzpah. They make it up as they go along – though a lot of people like to pretend otherwise. Personally, I think that a really good statistical analysis by a large real estate firm could probably permit then to be a lot more scientific in their approach, but what do I know? I’m not a trained real estate salesman. Think about that, the next time your PCs want to rent a warehouse or buy property on which to build a base…
Location! Location! Location! Let’s go…