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Instant world builder – Part VIII: Color Commentary

Written by Expy - Published on October 21, 2007

This article is part 8 of the Instant World Builder series.

The color commentator

Two of the characters in my ongoing campaign once met an NPC – completely improvised at the time – who stuck around and became a fan of the 2 PCs. The NPC was a bard and would travel the world singing praise for the 2 intrepid adventurers. The PCs would regularly bump into the bard and they would talk about their adventures.

People like to talk about themselves

Who are you to keep them from doing it! Let the players reminisce and talk about their dramatic victories and incredible fights – even encourage it! They’ll feel like superstars.

That NPC who likes to talk to and about the PCs is also a great way to bring back old plot hooks that didn’t work the first time around or information you planted that might have been forgotten.

Random note: where this idea came from

I got this idea from watching sports on tv. Even though it seems retarded to describe action that we can see while it’s happening, most of the time it adds to the value the broadcast.

Using this technique to piss off the PCs

You can also introduce an NPC who won’t shut up about another group of adventurers! I’ve never tried this but I’m sure my players would be ticked off if an NPC they were chatting with kept saying stuff like: “Must have been impressive to see you fight that hydra but it’s nothing compared to what these guys did…”

Using this concept would also introduce a rival semi-villainous group of adventurers into the world that could keep interfering with the PCs’ plans.

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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3 Responses to “Instant world builder – Part VIII: Color Commentary”
  1. Patrick says:

    Nice idea! I did that a little different. Our world has a simple version of a paper for the rich people, through which I show plot hooks, interviews and other things to let my players know that the world doesn’t just evolve around them. Lately a journalist from the paper teamed up with them, and now on regular basis writes articles about them. It’s funny to play this guy, being very impressed by every action the players have made. Also, it allows the players to tell their adventure in their own words, which is funny for they don’t always agree on the ‘what is the most important part’ part :P

  2. Yax says:

    I have to agree that hearing players describe their characters’ adventures is very entertaining/confusing.

    I love it.

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