Monday, October 6, 2008

Blogging the Dragon

I have the marvelous Dragon Magazine Archives CD set and haven't done much with it. So I recently began skimming through each issue and creating a plain text index of the most notable and useful articles. I've been getting through at least a couple per day. The CDs come with a program for Windows that allows you to search the archives, but I don't run Windows. Plus, I am tagging the entries with keywords that make search results more relevant for my personal needs. It sounds like a major undertaking, but it only takes a few minutes per issue.

Concurrently, I'm also reading every article I tagged and creating a second index, entitled "Hooks, Encounters, and Brainstorms," that contains suggestions for using the ideas contained in the articles. So for example, if I read an article about medieval siege equipment, I add a quick line to my index that contains a suggestion for including the new knowledge in my campaign. Something like, "After the PCs return to a keep to claim rewards for a successful mission, vengeful allies of the defeated villain lay siege to the castle (issue X pXX)."

Today I realized I could take this a step further, and share my ideas with you. So every line I add to the index will also be posted here. Here is what I have so far, from the first two issues of The Dragon. Keywords are included in parentheses, to facilitate easy searching. Also, I'm adapting for Castles & Crusades, so if you encounter some cryptic nomenclature you may have to adjust for your preferred system:
  • A bulette has been running rampant in the area, terrorizing farmers. A trap must be sprung. (bulette, wilderness)
  • A chest in a villain's chamber is locked, and trapped with three spring-loaded poison daggers. The antidote is in another locked box behind a secret panel. (trap, urban)
  • A treasure contains a hobbit's pipe and two varieties of pipeweed from The Dragon #2, p13. Halflings get Intelligence check CC12 to identify each variety. (treasure, magic)
  • A high-altitude cavern near a mountain pass houses a Remorhaz. (wilderness, Remorhaz, cold)
Note that the second and fourth ideas are pretty straightforward. That happens sometimes. Not every little thing that happens in a fantasy roleplaying game has to be complicated or profound. Sometimes a DM just wants to be reminded that a Remorhaz might be a good thing to spring on his players in a certain environment.

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