Wednesday, August 15, 2012

20 Questions

Some of my friends have been posting the Jeff Rients "20 Questions" questionaire on their blogs.  I was initially reluctant, because the questions are so geared towards D&D specifically and I thought some of them were kinda banal, but finally after reading, I dunno, half a dozen or so, I figgered I'd take the plunge anyway.

1.What is the deal with my cleric's religion? You don't play a cleric.  If you want to play a cleric in a generic sense, i.e. a member of some clergy, I guess you can do that, but you're not a D&D specific "divine caster" archetype.  The DARK•HERITAGE setting has some basic religious info on the campaign brief already, but basically organized religion is a small part of most people's lives, and people tend to be superstitious rather than religious.  There are plenty of mystery cults and whatnot, but exactly how that works is probably up to you. 

2.Where can we go to buy standard equipment? Almost anywhere.  That's why it's called standard.

3.Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended? There's plate and then there's mail.  Platemail?  Huh?  Also, you won't be befriending any monsters.

4.Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? Nobody owns up to being a wizard.  They'd be lynched or burned at the stake, or otherwise killed with extreme prejudice and extreme superstitioius precautions. 

5.Who is the greatest warrior in the land? Don't know.  You've been living in a period of protracted yet uneasy peacetime.  There really aren't any ongoing wars, therefore, no warriors famous for their current exploits.

6.Who is the richest person in the land? Probably the Caliph of Qizmir.  Or the King of Terrasa.  Or the khagan of Kurushat.

7.Where can we go to get some magical healing? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Oh, you're serious?  Well, you can't.

8.Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath? I'm sorry, I'm trying not to laugh.  Go see a doctor and hope for the best, I suppose!

9.Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells? No! If there were such a thing, it'd be so paranoid, evil, and xenophobic that there's no way you could join it anyway.  Do you mean is there some kind of organization from whom you could steal more spells?  Possibly.  Holy cow, but you're a reckless one!

10.Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC? Urban areas.  Most cities are full of expert NPCs of all kinds of stripes.

11.Where can I hire mercenaries? Again, urban areas.  Especially cosmopolitan ones where people are coming and going.  Caravan towns or port cities, or whatnot.  Also, border regions. 

12.Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? Magic is outlawed everywhere.  Weapons are, mostly, acceptable everywhere.

13.Which way to the nearest tavern? Thataway three blocks.  (Huh?  Weird question.)

14.What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous? Dude, this isn't D&D.  Monsters don't run around terrorizing the countryside, and adventurers don't run around killing terrorizing monsters.  I guess if you want to style yourself some kind of monster hunter, Porto Liure's a good place to start.  It's famous for being haunted by all kinds of things.

15.Are there any wars brewing I could go fight? There are rumors of wars in the far northwest.  There are also worries of invasions in the Black Mountains near Kurushat, and in Baix Pallars.  And, of course, the Terrasan empire is creaking under strains, possibly to fall apart in civil war and seccession.  But you'd have to be some kind of instigator to get the war kickstarted before you could fight in it.

16.How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes? Lots of that in Sarabasca.  Some of that in Porto Liure.  A bit elsewhere too, but those are the best ones to enter voluntarily and get cash prizes for victory.

17.Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight? Are you kidding?  They're all over the place.  You'll probably be introduced to three of them in the first session or two.

18.What is there to eat around here? Seriously? 

19.Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for? If you have time, I'll be sure to throw some rumors your way.

20.Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? In that other guy's D&D campaign.


Andrew said...

I think the overall purpose of the 20 questions is to generate interest in your setting, to help you focus some information that will be useful to players, and to help you think through some things that you might not have thought of on your own.

This post comes across as mocking players, insulting other games, and giving me almost no information about your setting.

I bet if you picked a base town, thought about some of the adventures to be had around it, and considered this a tool to communicate to players and inspire yourself, you'd have a very different set of answers.

As it is, I don't know anyone who would read this and say "Ooh! I want to go there and play that! It sounds distinctive and fun!"

Really, if you think the 20 questions are dumb, you aren't going to make your setting sound cool by answering them.

Andrew said...

Here are my 2 examples, so you can see what I mean. You aren't graded on the answers,whether they are right or wrong. Instead, they are opportunities to get people excited by sharing out bits of information without an eye-glazing infodump.

Joshua Dyal said...

Luckily, I'm not using my blog to recruit players, then!

I ended up answering the questionairre because I'm a sucker for doing so. I knew all along that my setting was going to be a poor fit for it because it was so D&D centric that a non-D&D-like paradigm would offer a poor fit to many of the questions.

Andrew said...

I do think you could use these questions (or the format, and pick other questions) to explain your setting.

Instead of saying "no" you could explain why not.

Or, you could just move on. =)

Joshua Dyal said...

I answered those questions and not other questions, because those are the questions in the questionaire. Which I'm answering because I'm a sucker for following along blog trends it they're easy to do. If it doesn't "sell" my setting, well I'm not really selling it anyway. I don't see everything I post on this blog as somehow related to self-promotion. I've got plenty of other posts describing plenty of other aspects of my setting, so I don't plan to worry about trying to carefully craft this one post into some kind of ideal sales pitch. I simply don't take it seriously enough to care.