February 2018 Blog Carnival: Time Marches On

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The mad mage trying to become immortal to cheat death, an incredible laboratory invention allows a group of scientists to travel time, alien colonists are finally granted citizen status within Earth Settlement Station 08 after years of fighting for their rights, a fight with explosive jelly inspires an artificer to forge the prototype for “Firing Arms”, prisoners of past cyber-jacking crimes are freed after new sanctions expand definitions of virtual reality and exploration of realistic digital spaces, etc.  These are stories affected by the movement of time, creating their own landmarks upon it.  Changes, creations and other things that are all milestones remembered in time.  Soon, they will be mere memories and pages of tomes…  But, for now?  They are the makings of legends!

It is that time, once again!  In the past, I tackled themes like “science fantasy” and “dark fiction”.  This time, rather than a whole genre or encompassing mood, I’ll try something a little different.  More or less, the passing of time and its effect on a game world.  The theme “Time Marches On” was what I had in mind.  It has its share of potential meanings revolving around time itself.  And at the end of the month, I’ll collect all contributions and showcase them in a finale post.  Now, what does this mean?  Lemme explain with a few examples of my own!

  • Societal/social progress: How does your world experience change?  Do old structures give way to new ideals?  Does a new autocratic rule take hold where old monarchies ruled?  Are rights granted to beings considered monsters in the past?
  • Technological innovation: What has sparked a big invention boom?  How has the world progressed in terms of scientific (or magical) creation?  Has explosive jelly resulted in fantasy firearms?  How did Kevlar style armor lead to power armor?
  • Time Skips: It’s always fun to do a follow-up game that’s a ways after the previous game.  What was the PC’s legacy?  Perhaps a former adventurer from a previous game has taken up the mantle again, maybe even mentoring one of the current PCs?
  • Countdowns: Whether to a celebration or to Looking Glass (to sample from a classic Cold War doomsday thriller), it’s always fun to put things on the timer.  Force the players to really move it or lose it.  Plus, that overhanging dread of having time as an adversary is always a strong tool.
  • Reflections:  Many of us have been gaming over the years.  Some things change, some things don’t, time keeps moving.  So, here’s to a look back and forward at those many adventures and many great moments!
  • The Flow of Time: Does it go naturally?  Is time a line, a loop, a big bowl of wibbly wobbly?  How exactly does the concept of time function in your world?  And yes, time travel falls under this…  So, for those of you itching to write about it, have at it!  Doc commands it, from the FUUUUTTTUUUURRREEE!!!

By all means, these are just ideas.  So, how does time march on for your games?  Please, comment below!  Also, learn more about the RPG Blog Carnival here.

IMAGE CREDIT: RPG Blog Carnival Logo

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Doomsdays & Dystopias Wrap-Up

While I got a fair bit more last year, I still enjoyed this theme quite a bit!  The GRIMDARK theme might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps less than science-fantasy.  But, oh well, this was a theme I wanted to do for a long time.  None the less, this has been a learning experience.  All the same, some of the bloggers who participated last year weren’t able to join in for this year.  But, to those who were able to join in?  You have my thanks!  Thanks for making this celebration of the dark and dreadful a truly fun one!   That said, onward to other things.  But in the meantime, here are this month’s contributors for my theme!  Please, check out what they have to offer!  And as always, give the RPG Carnival a try yourself!  It’s tons of fun and well worth the effort!

Anyway, enough babbling out of me!  Here are the contributors for “Doomsdays & Dystopias”:

Stay tuned for Kobold Press and their theme of “Magic” for August 2017!  You can find out more here!  Again, a big thanks for everyone who was interested in the darker side of gaming fiction!  Till next time, gamers!

IMAGE CREDIT: Wasteland 2 Promotional Image – Obsidian Entertainment

 

July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival: Doomsdays & Dystopias (Dark Genres and Settings)

Abandoned Environment Concept tutorial by maciejkuciara

While I enjoy tons of heroic settings with noble characters ensuring good in the world, I’ve always loved truly grim and dour settings.  I speak of worlds that fit the “GRIMDARK” moniker that’s been affectionately used.  For those who don’t get the reference, it refers to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K tagline, which states that “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!”  I’m speaking of places blighted by impossible evils, dystopias where any sort of righteousness and passion is repressed, a sinister universe that is out to destroy you, nuked out wastelands where the remains of society struggle to continue or scrap the last bits of the old ones… but you get the point.

So, why is my theme essentially “dark settings and dark themes”?  Sounds depressing, I know.  After all, spending too much time in an overly dark and oppressive world can wear one down, right?  Not exactly!  There are many reasons why dark settings are truly fascinating.  Before I turn the carnival over to you, let’s take a look at why starker settings can be awesome.  (Or if you prefer, skip down to the bold text.)

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