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Unpleased in general.

So, yeah, I've spent the passed few days being inexplicably unhappy. The creeping, all encompassing kind of unhappy. Such is life, I suppose.

I'm trying to get it together to run DnD tonight, but I'm having difficulty coming up with the enthusiasm to draw up stats for the various NPCs the party will be running into. Monsters are easy to do, because their stuff is all predetermined, but actual people prove to be a problem. I mean, even if you just sue the average NPC stats in the DMG, you still need to have an idea about skills and feats and spells, which I don't have. It's all quite sad.

Trying to knock the plot up a notch as well - less deus ex machina, more giving the characters freedom and will. Still a bit concerned that they don't feel a concrete reason for sticking together, being such disperate concepts. I'm concerned I'll have to deus ex machina that, too, which I don't want to do.

Frightened Jye when he saw I had the Monsters Manual open to the page with a Balor on it. But seeing as how this was after he gave me a copy of the Draconomicon, I thought he should have been pleased I decided not to through an Ancient Red Dragon at the level 5 characters. Ah well.

STill no scholarship, but am in the process of convincing the university that I cannot hand in my PhD progress report when I am in another country. Stupid university, filled with lies and pain.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
taavi
Mar. 30th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC)
avoiding deus ex
Hi there,

sorry to hear you've been having so many problems with the University.

I have no suggestions for that, but this series of articles, "The Interactive Toolkit", http://www.rpg.net/oracle/essays/gamesatplay.html , I found very useful in plotting games that give players natural reasons to come together.

Cheers
bonesinger
Mar. 31st, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
Such is not life, babe. Get yourself some St Johns Wort supplements today. They take a couple weeks to kick in, but once they do, the void left by the absence of the inexplicable grodiness of feeling crap will quickly be filled by being able to feel better.
*points to generally unahppy populous*
That will not be you.
miss_rynn
Mar. 31st, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
I don't like St John's Wort much - too many icky side effects. Upset stomache, nightmares, that sort of thing. Thanks for the advice, though.
sharplittlteeth
Apr. 1st, 2004 11:11 pm (UTC)
Still a bit concerned that they don't feel a concrete reason for sticking together, being such disperate concepts. I'm concerned I'll have to deus ex machina that, too, which I don't want to do.

But it's fantasy. You can deus ex machina the hell out of it, and make it part of the plot.

An ancient prophesy says a disparate band of heroes will unite and save the world. And if they don't, the world is stuffed.

Now the character's reluctance to hang out together isn't recalcitrance. It's plot.

Maybe the prophecy is true. Maybe it's not. Certainly, some groups will believe in it, and go to terrible lengths to force the heroes to stay together. Other groups will try to tear them apart.

And the characters have to make up their own minds. Do they believe in fate, or free will? Maybe they think the prophecy is bunk, but choose to follow it anyway. Maybe they just want to angst.

The trick with deus ex machina is to use it at the *start* of a story and then follow its consequences, rather than use it at the end to cover shoddy plotting.

(No. You don't know me. I'm just reading friends of friends lists. Specifically, nuwishas_tail.)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )