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[IaWA] Oracle Creation

Started by Bret Gillan, February 01, 2008, 08:27:40 AM

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Bret Gillan

No rules/guidelines on creating your own oracles? Aww man!

Okay, so we did our first situation. It was great. Now, what becomes of those elements of the oracles that were drawn the last time around?

My idea that I think I'm stealing from JACN is to strike those out and replace them with ones me and my group come up with (based on the situation or that we just think are cool). Vincent, what do you do? Do you recycle the same oracles over and over?


I just keep playing with the same oracles.

If you want to replace used ones with new ones of your own creation, that's cool. I'd recommend that you leave one or two used ones in sometimes anyway, because having them come back to you radically altered is fun.



If I were to come up with a house rule for oracle item replacement over a long campaign, It might be this:

At the end of a chapter, everyone in the group (who wants to) makes up a new oracle entry for any one of the theme oracles being used in the game.  These would be written down on cards or something, grouped by theme, and kept for later.  (Variant to the variant:  Everyone makes up a new oracle entry, the entries get mixed up, and handed back out.  The person who received it gets to decide which theme it most closely fits, not it's creator.)

After the third time a particular entry from a particular oracle gets into the game, strike it off the list.  Draw a replacement from the appropriately-themed set, and write it in as the meaning of that card draw. 

This preserves a lot of continuity through the oracles, but keeps it from becoming a cultural tradition amongst the horse-nomads to always ride with a disguised woman hidden amongst them.  :) 

(Although, what if that was their cultural tradition...)



Oddly enough, I had been thinking something similar. For a campaign style conclusion, one could use the same oracle, with one player choosing the next entry on the list, but another player or two choosing to strike an entry off the list. Effectively, the oracle shrinks over time until a conclusion is reached. Though I haven't quite figured out how to find that conclusion except "when thematically appropriate". As the random nature of the oracle paired with shrinking pool could generate an ending that might be more surprising than the GM expected.

Bret Gillan

Vincent, when you made the Oracles were the suits broken down in a specific way? Like, did each suit have a specific theme to it within the Oracle?



So I created this massive oracle, 288 elements. (That's d6 x d6 x d8, is why.) Then I decided to do four 52-element oracles instead, so I went through the massive one and split them out. My guideline was: in each oracle, enough stuff specific to that oracle (so like, enough ghosts in the Unquiet Past, enough soldiers in God-kings of War) plus enough normal stuff for the ghosts and soldiers to interact with. Otherwise the Unquiet Past is all ghosts interacting with one another, with no merchants' sons or whomever to get caught up in it.

Somewhere in that process I alphabetized the lot.

Once I had my four oracles, I just sorted them each into a random order and slapped cards on them down the line. So no, I did absolutely no planning about which elements got which cards.



The entries are also good mix of (a) places; (b) individuals; (c) groups/organizations/communities; (d) events; (e) objects - sometimes alone and sometimes intermixed, generally bespeaking goals/interests/directions that can then be imagined to contrast/conflict etc.

E.G. Unquiet Past is (very rough quick review) Place (12); Person (34); Group (12) ; Events (5); Object (3)



I've been thinking that a great source of new oracles would be those 'lists of adventure hooks' one finds in many gaming books.

Like, I have an Arabian Nights book with a list of 100 adventure ideas.  It really isn't hard at all to tweak those into oracle elements.