Sunday, April 17, 2011

S is for Secret

Secrets are things that are intentionally hidden. Everyone has secrets and every place does too. They are a wonderful tool for game masters as well. Every time you create a non-player character, location, or unique item consider creating one to three secrets. This links the subject to the larger campaign background. It also gives the opportunity to for players to discover the secrets. For a game master it also plants hooks for further adventures and in a way allows you to guide players by what secret or subject interests them. One method for secrets is to link the subject of the secret to another subject. This allows the players to unravel other mysteries and explore the larger setting. As a game master designs a secret another subject will most likely present it's own connection.Another it to create tiers of secrets. As the players delve deeper they uncover deeper knowledge. Each tier is more obscure and in a way more meaningful. Tiers of secrets: uncommon, obscure, forbidden.

  • Examples of Secrets

  • Harken Hamlet

  • Description: This sea side hamlet is surrounded by orchards and fields. Those that do not work the fields fish Haven Bay. The town is ruled by a town council and have a sheriff. The people are friendly towards strangers and ask a lot of question. Most are colonists from the town of Seaburg.

  • Secrets

  • Uncommon - The few natives of the region have been force into serfdom to the council. A small group fled to the north in Dapple Wood. They commonly sneak into the town to steal and visit their kin. The people of the hamlet refer to them as bandits. Many of them are half elven and say that their ancestors use to sail the great ship that was kept in the port before the great waves.

  • Obscure - The council members are not in fact elected by the townsfolk but determined by the ruler of Seaburg. Lord Jansen of Seaburg sells the council seats to those who collect the highest taxes and those who provide the most produce from the Good Fields. One council member Lyndon Pearpress is plotting to overthrow the council and proclaim himself lord of the hamlet and the surrounding lands.

  • Forbidden - The hamlet was built upon the ruins of the elven port. A passage under the a whale shaped fountain leads to a forgotten boathouse. It contains a elf warship. Lyndon Pearpress grandmother found the passage years ago and it was the source of the families wealth. Lyndon has been working with the sheriff to capture the so called bandits to force them as slaves to dig out boat house to free the warship. He has planned a new harbor and has used his an excuse to open a passage to the warship. He plans to use the warship to destroy the Seaburg fleet.

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