29 March 2015

All Ogre

I've been busy with real-world stuff recently, but there's always time for FantasyCraft.

Today I actually managed to surprise myself with my efficiency in preparations. Check this timeline out:

Last Sunday- Game's over. Time to think about next session. I ran that session by the seat of my pants and my players ended up uncovering a demon cult in the center of town. Now I need to figure out what the underside of the dungeon looks like.

Monday- No motivation to prepare, so I don't. What's the rush?

Tuesday- Same. No preparations done yet. I'll get to it tomorrow, I don't have any ideas. It's barely even the beginning of the week anyways.

Wednesday- I get through five minutes of prep, then a friend calls. I talk for a while, then go to get back to work. I feel the urge to delete everything I've written [1], so I decide to call it an early night.

Thursday- I don't even remember, honestly. Might have had a couple of drinks? I know I was re-watching The Office because I am still doing that.

Friday- Preparing for somebody else's game. I'll write more about that later.

Saturday- I'm running out of time here but the power goes out and stays out for a couple of hours. I use the Aspects system from Fate to draw some connections. This becomes boring so I write a letter to my wife that ends up being 10 pages. The power's still out, so I get bored. I begin drinking. The power's on, now, but I'm too tipsy to write anything interesting, so I play video games and continue drinking until almost midnight. [2]

Sunday- I wake up at 730. I lay in bed for another hour; I'd had too much to drink, so I dreamt I was escaping a horde of demons (or something) by smashing my way through walls with a hammer. In addition, my head hurts. The game's not until 9, so I lay around until about 830. I realize that I haven't prepared anything, and I haven't eaten. I grab a granola bar and sketch out the underside of the temple [3], then the surface. I jot down some monsters I'd like to use, just the names. I grab a basic demon stat block from the FantasyCraft book and modify them. This one's faster and smaller. This one's got a grabbing bite. This one spews acid. Now I've got 7 areas, five unique monsters, and a plan for the next couple of sessions. I make some coffee and am ready for the game.

Moral of the Story: A half an hour of prep a week is more than enough to carry you through a session, if you focus on what you know you'll need.

The Secret: The entire world is painted in broad brushstrokes, and then I iterate. By this I mean I drill down on an aspect of a thing until there's enough detail in it, and then I go broad again.

I'll illustrate my secret another time. Maybe tomorrow?

[1] This happens literally all of the time and is responsible for me not writing here as much as I used to. Inevitably, if I write enough of anything, I will grow to despise it and the best way to make sure that it survives another day is to completely change tracks.

[2] I realize, in retrospect, that I probably should have gotten a good nights' sleep. My players deserve a better game than I can provide when I'm tired and slightly hung-over, but you know what, I did an OK job anyways.

[3] The temple snatches people and animates their corpses as demonhosts, kind of like how it works in that 40k book about Gregor Eisenhorn. I really like that book, for the most part. Some of it is kind of dumb but as a whole, I'd recommend it to anybody who likes a fairly serious 40k tone that isn't grimdorky.

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