Wednesday, August 19, 2020
RPGaDay Challenge 2020 - TOWER
Viewership for the month is incredibly low, something I haven't seen in a while and never during the RPGaDay event. Usually, the sheer number of posts I am putting up ensure a certain amount of views. Is it the Challenge itself, what with the prompts being fairly mundane this year? Is it my attitude towards them, which I will admit has not been particularly enthusiastic? Only time will tell. There are twelves more to go...
Hmmm. OK, this word prompt is definitely better than most of the others, being something you come across while playing RPGs and having a bit of a mystique to it.
Towers are a common feature in games, ranging from the haunted spires of Medieval Fantasy, to the communications outposts of Science Fiction, and even the secret, volcano bases of costumed criminals in Superhero scenarios.
What makes towers cool?
For me, environment is cool. Staging adventures in different sorts of terrain with different conditions and appearances is a big draw for me as both a player and a GM. One of the reasons the traditional Dungeon Crawl doesn't interest me is because they tend to focus on very similar settings, most commonly an underground maze of stone walls and wooden doors with very little variation from one to the next.
IMHO, if you've seen one catacomb filled with treasure and monsters you've seen them all. Changing that format up even a little instantly gets me more excited. A tower does this by being a vertical ascent instead of a descent from one horizontal plane to another. Additionally, the 'exterior' of a dungeon is often acres of dirt and rock, where as a tower often stands alone or with other of its kind in an otherwise open expanse.
This last point is particularly interesting to me as it gives way to alternative ideas reqarding the entering or exiting of the edifice. One could enter or leap out of a window. One can land on or leave from the roof. In Modern and Science Fiction games where there is easier access to vehicles and equipment capable of allowing PCs to scale structures or move around and above them, the options open to dealing with the tower are vastly expanded.
I mentioned the mystique of the tower in my opening paragraph and let me not forget to give that element its due. Towers can evoke a feel of majesty, loneliness, and of course foreboding. They have a very distinct presence and personality, whether they are single, ominous stone obelisks jutting upward from a high, sheer cliff, or a series of slick, glass and steel buildings coated in chrome and neon that form the edges of the concrete canyons of a futuristic, cyberpunk cityscape.
Think of all the myriad ways the tower can be depicted.
Now think...what else can I depict...