Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Epithalamium II

I was up around 3:00AM thinking about the possible bachelor party adventure. Many of my original thoughts were things that happened to and around the players, plots basically. But I know the trouble that lies that way. So I've revised my thinking, this needs to be a location.

Grognardia's post the other day about funny names gave me an idea. See, I've long been one of those folks who've cringed at anything that didn't take the game seriously enough. But I'm revising my views as I see that players can take a game very seriously even if it has silly elements. So, I started with my friends name, Marcus and came up with Mah-kuss the Eternal Bridegroom. And immediately I started thinking of things that would amuse my friends: He of the 12 Titles, He of the 665 Brides, Mah-Kuss - the Tumescent Shadow, Mah-Kuss the Turgid, He Who Would Eat His Young if He Had Any, etc.

I'm currently imagining a ziggurat built in the forgotten past to honor this god/demon and his many brides. Inhabited by a albino, round-eyed, tribe of worshippers. (The groom and I were just talking about how 99% of fantasy badies are dark-skinned, so I'll buck the trend here). And at the base of the ziggurat's interior an avatar of Mah-Kuss which is a huge, bloated, albino worm- similar to a purple worm, except the posionous stinger is an eye that petrifies.

I was also thinking about building in references to the players, although that would be easier if it was switched to a female demon with hundreds of statues of her grooms, hmmm . . . Maybe his groomsmen can have statues and I'll give them imperious names and have them look similar to the players.

As far has things happening, I do still envision the start of play is that all these characters are escorting a small party of women to deliver a gift to Mah-Kuss. And these women then jump with their gifts happily to their deaths into the bowels of the ziggurat. If I make the treasures they jump with enticing enough, there should be plenty of reason to search for a way in to try and retrieve the goodies.

Random sidenote. I have an idea for a golden bowl that the players discover somehow which, when its cover is lifted reveals a somewhat gruesome lipless mouth set in flesh. This mouth will make proclomations and answer questions in confusing and problematic ways. Yeah, that interests me.


  1. Instead of a plot, you could give each player three or so individual goals (find this or that, do this or that, or--if you want to unleash some fun--keep another character from doing this or that). You can give some players common goals that they can work together on or compete against each other, maybe not always knowingly. Just spread these things around the setting. It is more of a gamist approach to adventure design, but I did this once years ago for a similar sort of group and it was simply awesome. I think it works well for a one shot gaming session.

    This mouth will make proclomations and answer questions in confusing and problematic ways. I think this already exists. This is what is at the other end of your phone when you call Customer Support.

  2. Though I've never been to a convention, what I've read of them makes me think what I'm designing is very like a convention one-off. I'll have a bunch of guys for about 5 hours, some of who don't know each other. Have to get the adventure going and have some sense of accomplishment quickly.

    I was thinking of giving goals myself, but I only have a crude conception of what they might be. Any suggestions?

    -Find something/keep anyone else from finding it
    -destroy something
    - learn something (information)

    yeah, I'm drawing a blank

    RE-the mouth, haha that could be a good way to play it, see if they figure it out.

  3. Come up with three objectives per player and give each a prioritized list. I think your list is a pretty good start. Since the characters won't be using the items or information, the actual objectives are less important. You could give all of them one common objective, perhaps learning information or finding a path. However, it might be priority #1 for one character and only #3 for another. They could all know that they share the common objective, which would give them a reason for banding together. But then give them a mix of other objectives/goals/objects, etc. How many players?

  4. I think I'll include my thinking about goals in my next post.

    It looks like the number of players is dwindling from what I first expected, they seem shy to play something new with people they barely know. I'm pretty sure I'll have 4 players at a minimum.