October 4, 2010

Terrain Powers/Features of the Area

Terrain Powers and Features are really the bread and butter of what this blog is about. In my experience, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, when I read a new published adventure, the things the interests me most are the terrain elements and features of the area. I don't care much about a page full of monsters stats, although I do appreciate that they're there for the DM's who are printing right from the PDF. In all likelihood, the PC's in my group aren't going to be the exact level the adventure was intended for (or even the right tier!), and so I'm going to be redoing a lot of the monsters anyway. Also, the plot is going to be hard for me to really work with. Now, I love the plots that a lot of published adventures have. Some of them are really awesome, and are great inspirations. However, very few line up exactly with how my current campaign is running at that time.

I can always rely on terrain elements and creative features to find a home in my game. They oftentimes inspire an encounter by themselves, and sometimes an entire adventure. They're cinematic, place narrative control that is easy to figure out (if you print them and hand them out at the table!) in the hands of timid players, and make the encounter memorable and distinguishable from the countless other straight up "warband" encounters out there. They're an unpredictable element. They're something new that the PC's now have to consider. They're a halfling chef smashing your character's face with a wheel of cheddar. They're awesome.

Be on the lookout for some wicked hardcore terrain elements in the near future.

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