Month: October 2015

Childlike Wonder: Gamemaster Tips from Earthbound

It’s goofy but I don’t mind ’cause it’s the
Kind of a great adventure you might find
In the heart
Of a child
Going wild!
Source:Brentalfloss’ Earthbound with Lyrics

I talked about Chrono Trigger as a game that gamemasters can learn things from when it comes to designing adventures, but there is a lot more great games to talk about out there and today I want to touch on Earthbound, second in a series of 3 games known as Mother in Japan.

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I’d Buy That For A Dollar

I think it was Secret of Evermore for the SNES that first opened my eyes as to haggling as an option for buying items. I know some other games like Chrono Trigger had the 65 million B.C. needing to get petals and claws instead of your shiny rocks to get things, but it wasn’t until the market scenes in Evermore where I found myself thinking not in ‘how much GP is everything going to be’ but instead ‘okay, I need this many chickens and this much rice to get the Artifacts for the dealer to give me the items I need to exchange for the treasure I want’. If I knew of the market coming ahead of time, I might have grinded for more GP to be able to get everything, but at the time it was a surprise.

It is akin to a trading quest, but all the NPCs are in close proximity and I don’t have to remember that someone from so many screens away wanted some object. I was also initially on a timer so you had to act fast to get what you wanted. Fifteen¬† minutes to find the trades and get items to make them.

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Know-It-All

What would you do, if you knew everything? Where is the line, the limit to how far you can go? That is the idea of the movie, and then the TV show, Limitless. Many people talk in forums and gaming magazines and even in tabletop groups about turning movies into RPG adventures, and I think Limitless has the potential to be such an example, best seen by the fact it even got a TV series, which shows it has continuing stories to tell.

The first thing is that this movie is a perfect example on what you can do with knowledge skills. In the movie, the protagonist goes from being a socially handicapped slob unable to finish a book skating through life all the way to a socially well adjusted, multi-lingual, rich, best selling author and political figure who seems to know everything. He is no stronger, no faster and likely no handsomer than we was before, just his mental attributes increased and he becomes essentially a social chameleon. In the TV show, the first episode has a similar down on his luck nobody who then with the same drug becomes able to prove his innocence by the connections of various points he is able to make.

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