Friday, March 07, 2008

Barbarian's Dream House

It strikes me as odd, but I suspect that most D&D characters are technically homeless.

This varies for other RPGs, of course. Many PCs in modern games have homes.

Having a home in an RPG is often something of a liability. In a Mage game I played once, I sunk a ton of background points into a mansion. My PC had Resources 5 and both Node and Library (and maybe Sanctum... it was a long time ago). The first session began with vampires trying to steal Tass from the Node in my basement. In fact, I believe that nearly every time that mansion had screen time, it was being assaulted by either vampires (usually) or the Technocracy. Unfair? Possibly. Annoying? Yes.

On the other hand, in the Mage game I'm playing in currently, the group has a shared base of operations that was designed by the GM... and he more-or-less made it unassailable. Different GMing styles? A proprietary feeling toward something you designed rather than something your player made up? I don't know.

Personally, I prefer to run games with home bases. I think this is why I'd prefer to run an urban D&D game to a wilderness-based one. With a home base, you can easily get recurring NPCs with whom you can develop relationships. You have a place where other NPCs can go to contact the PCs specifically. You have something that you know the PCs will care about.( The trick is to not continuously threaten its existence.) You have a central site where people can join and leave the party (if you have players that miss games). It strikes me as more efficient from a GMing perspective.

2 comments:

Intruder_W said...

In Jeff's Bandit Kingdoms campaign, once I had henchmen, the next thing I did was get a house in the nearby (and previously handwaved) town. Loot is a lot more bearable with some place to take everything, and it beats inns/camping. Later at name level, I built my keep, and it was only assaulted once, to show what a threat Ray's Insane ex-Paladin villain was.

Jeff Rients said...

When Doctor Wu came back I specifically avoided besieging your tower during the initial phases of the war because I thought that was kinda cheap. Had you lost the pitched battles I would then have had him lay siege.

One of the best things my original group ever did was settle down in my buddy Dave's Krynn campaign. My ranger built a small cabin just outside of town and Gopher's swashbuckler erected a huge mansion. We started taking personally any threat to the town or the villages and farms that constituted its agricultural base. Dave didn't need to try to burn down my house specifically, because he knew that burning down Farmer Joe's stead would have the same effect.