You Can't Go Home Again
A downloadable tech pack
Many roleplaying games (RPGs) make use of prepared or improvised content that a game master (GM) creates between sessions. This content (encounter, scenario, location, etc.) is usually designed to be discovered by the player characters (PCs), who play through it and arrive at some end state. For example, the PCs have slain the monsters, overcome the challenge, or explored the area. The content is effectively “used up,” offering no further gameplay value.
Some fiction-first systems empower the GM to improvise and determine how the situation has changed for themselves. Some more simulationist or systems-heavy games require more preparation by the GM to create fresh gameplay material. In either case, the GM faces a problem: how do I update this content taking the PCs’ actions into account? I call this the “revisiting problem.”
In this “tech pack” of game mechanics, I review existing ways RPG designers have addressed the revisiting problem and offer some new approaches. My contributions focus on taking PCs’ actions into account when determining how things have changed.
What Do I Get?
This tech pack includes 20 pages of content in a PDF, including reviews of existing mechanics from popular systems like Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Blades in the Dark, and Tenra Bansho Zero, and four new mechanics:
- The Player Legacy Table (for hexcrawls)
- Returning to the Crew's Lair (for Blades in the Dark)
- NPC Motivation Table
- Off-Camera NPC actions
The PDF can be printed as a zine on 10 8.5" x 11" (with some PDF munging) if you want. I have also included the plain text of the pack as a TXT file.
In order to download this tech pack you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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