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Author Topic: [Distant Horizons] Game flow and Exploration Sheet  (Read 2968 times)
Anders Larsen

Posts: 270

« on: September 12, 2006, 01:10:07 PM »

To understand what's going on here you have to read the initial post of my last Distant Horizons thread:


Sorry about this, but there are just a lot of stuff I don't want to repeat.

The aspects of the character

There are two types of aspects added since the last thread. these are:
Constants: Something that does not move around the way future, present and past does.
Variables: Pools that changes value over time.

So here are the aspects of the character.

* What I Want: What motivates the character here and now.
* My Goals: Some higher goals for the character.

* What I Have: This can be things and it can be relations to people and organisations.
* My Principles: The characters principles; moral framework.

* What I left Behind: Unsolved issues the character have left behind
* My Secrets: More or less the same as above, but this is something that are tied more into the character's story-arc.

* Abilities: Any kind of abilities the character have.
* Marks: Features the character is recognised by. This can also be items like jewelry. Marks will in many cases hint at a Secret.

* Spirit: This can be invested in aspects of present to get an advantage in conflicts. Spirit is regained by exploring (see later).
* Fatigue: This is gained (it starts at zero) when the character have a rough time. Fatigue is decreased when the character rest in a "Resting Place" (see later)

If spirit decrease below fatigue (or fatigue is raised about spirit), the character will gain a penalty (not defined yet).

Building the character

The players answer the following questions about their character:
* What was your home?
* Way did you leave it?
* What issues was unresolved when you left?
* What are you seeking now?

These answers will then be compiled into a short back-story for the character - about 5-6 lines.

An example of a back-story could be:

The escaped slave girl: She come from fare away land, but canít remember where. When she was four a ship she was sailing with was attack by pirates and she was captured and sold as slave. After seven years as a slave she manages to escape. The only thing that reminds her of this far away land, is a necklace she vaguely remember her mother gave to her.

From the back-story the different aspects of the character can then be written. This process is done out in the open so everyone in the group can come with suggestions.

When everyone have finished their character, they player decide how the characters met each other and why they stick together.

And then the adventures can start!

The Exploration Sheet

A Exploration Sheet (just ES from now) is a form of map that describe places the character want to explore, and places the character have been. The ES is not an actual map with landmasses, forests etc., instead places are symbolised by circles, and path the characters have travelled between the places are symbolised by liens. Inside the circles can be written name of NPCs and other stuff of that place that relates to the characters. It is of course possible to relate the ES to an actual map, but this is not necessary.

When the players want to go exploring a new place they can just make an circle on the ES, and write down elements they want to relate to the place in the circle. for example: They could call the place "The Golden forest", and a player may write "Unicorns", and and other "The dark wizard we met in the mountains" and maybe "The forgotten fairy people" and so on. Some of this can be references to something that have happen earlier in the game (like "the dark wizard"), or they can relate to some thing that is important for the characters, or it can just be something random that seems to fit the themes of the place.

After this a line is drawn between where the characters are now and this new place, and the characters will begin their journey. The GM can put in different obstacles the character have to face before they reach their destination. The obstacles can relate to elements in the destination circle.

When the characters reach the destination place the GM will use the written elements to create interesting situations and stories. The GM can of course draw in elements of his own.

After the character have explored a place they can move on to the next by making a new circle. The ES will properly have to be a very large piece of paper.

There can be different kind of places. Some can be created by the players and some can be created by the GM:

Wonders (player created): Some amazing place that the players have been told about or read about. It can be some natural wonder, or some temple or castle or something.
Unknown Territories (player created): A place that is not well described in any literature, but only hinted at by rumours.
Obstacles (GM created): A obstacle the GM place that the character have to pass. An obstacle is placed on the path between two places.
Tasks (GM created): A form of obstacle, but where the characters are asked if they want to help; they are not forces to do it.
Resting Places (player created): A place where the characters can get some time to rest. This will normally be a city.

Some thoughts on how to tie the ES together with the character:

* The character will lose fatigue when they are in a "Resting Place", and they will regain spirit when they leave a "Resting Place" for a "Wonder" or a "Unknown Territory".
* The element the player put in a place will often be related to the aspects of his characters future or past. Because of this the characters aspect can move around when he explore the place.
* "Obstacles" and "Tasks" will give the players some reward - I do not know what yet.
* When the GM creates "Obstacles" and "Tasks" he should try to relates them to the characters principles.

Well, any questions and comments are welcome - Especially about the exploration sheet; I am very uncertain on how that will work.

 - Anders

Anders Larsen

Posts: 270

« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 01:11:57 PM »

I have realised that I should properly give a better example of the character generation. So here is a more complete character example:

The escaped slave girl

* What was your home?
The character have been a slave for the most of her life. She only vaguely remember the faraway place she come from.

* Why did you leave it?
This one is obvious. She left when she got a change.

* What issues was unresolved when you left?
She is outlawed because she was a slave. And she do not know where she come from. 

* What are you seeking now?
She is trying to figure out where she come from, but the only thing that she have that go back to that time is a necklace.

The story then goes:
She come from fare away land, but canít remember where. When she was four a ship she was sailing with was attack by pirates and she was captured and sold as slave. After seven years as a slave she manages to escape. The only thing that reminds her of this far away land, is a necklace she vaguely remember her mother gave to her. Now she will try to find her way back to this land, but she do not know where it is.

At this point the player tell about his character so the GM and the other player can come with suggestion. And from this the different aspect of the character can be written on the character sheet:

What I Want: (nothing yet)
My Goals: Find information about the "far away land", so I can find my way back
What I Have: (nothing yet)
My Principles: Everyone should be free. Will rather die than being forced to something against my will.
What I Left Behind: I escaped from slavery, so I am outlawed.
Secrets: I come from a far away land.

Marks: A necklace. Have darker skin than most people in these lands. Is marked by a hard life.
Abilities:  I am tough. Can manage with only few resources.

This can be modified doing the first couple of sessions, when the player get a better feeling of the character.

 - Anders

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