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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Classic Rant: Man Vs. Nature in RPGs

In most of my rpg campaigns, I have to admit that "man vs. nature" has not been a strong or recurring theme. The PCs are far more likely to be worried about goblins than landslides.

My recent Dark Albion campaign has been something of an exception to that. 

I've already mentioned the danger of rain conditions, which at first glance you'd think wouldn't be a danger at all (but that's precisely what makes it interesting). Now, in last night's game, I had my players experiencing genuine fear of demise as two of the (heavily-armored) PCs suddenly fell into a sinkhole with a strong current, of the kind that I mentioned can be found in some of the waterways of the North in Albion. It was only by a magic rope, some quick thinking, and the help of their team-mates that they survived the waters (which were also near-freezing).

I have to say it was quite fun seeing the PCs freak out over something with no supernatural element or human hostility.

In any case, the Dark Albion core book has some rules on potential natural hazards that you can run into along the way as you travel Albion's roads and trails. And I think that's one way to look at natural conditions: as random encounter. Another is to see natural hazards as traps.

Do you do a lot of this in your D&D games?


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Volcano + H&H's Beverwyck

(February 7 2016)


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