This is a Riff off of Soviets [Other Worlds] Random Personality Traits table post in RPG’s http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=23270
cool bit, I’ve been thinking about the use of random encounter type tables, and random ‘inspiration’ tables in general lately. There a quite a few used in Mystic Empyrean.
One of the cooler ideas I liked was the creation of ‘realm’ specific encounter tables that are created. From pp 70 of Mystic Empyrean,
In order to help GM’s narrate events within the realm, it is useful to create a Resolution table. The resolution table is part of the realm sheet, and has five categories of items divided among each of the seven different elements, for a total of 35 different possibilities.
When players are adventuring in the realm, and they need to find hooks for encounters, invoke realm specific people, or generally just come up with something for the party to do, someone to talk to, or something to encounter, they can randomly draw from this table. Places may have their own encounter tables, which detailed the hazards of adventuring in those places.
The encounter tables include, places, groups or people, creatures or monsters, items or trade goods, and culture or events.
I find it interesting that I am going back to ‘old-school’ random encounter ‘sand-box’ techniques to power the shared world stuff I am imagining.
By spending time designing world appropriate bits that can then be plugged into ‘random encounter’ tables that can be used by rotating gm’s, you build up a unique world, as the other players ‘bricolage’ the meanings and wherefores of why this ‘random crap’ is present, and add details of which you never would have thought.
Say, over time other players can add creature, and NPC, and organization design and stuff to the world book, that can get introduced into play later by other players acting in a GM/authorial role.
I’m looking at more Gm specific advice stuff and looking at developing more general principles that players can use when ‘Guiding’ stuff. Mythic is a major influence here.
Some of the GMing stuff I have been reading talks about ‘Just in Time’ or just enough prep to get things going, and focusing on low-prep/improvisational game mastering. So I guess that is becoming an emerging theme of my design, making these ‘GM tricks’ part of play that all of the players use/learn. And pushing prep as part of active play. As well as getting all players to take ‘responsibility’ for running ‘encounters’.
I am of course thinking back to Robin Law’s Rune game, as well as Mystic Empyreans Social/Puzzle/Combat encounters. This is present in lots of games and tucked away in the GM sections of lots of RPG’s. My current thinking is pushing these into more formal board-game like sequences so all of the players will expect to learn them.