Friday, November 13, 2009

Designing the Ultimate Treehouse

Creating characters for RPGs is a lot of fun, but sometimes I think PCs should be allowed to create something bigger than themselves. The original RPG example is the player of a high-level PC sketching out the plans to their castle and detailing their minions, but there are other possibilities. Here are a few of them, off the top of my head:
  • Designing your own custom spaceship in Traveller.
  • Imperator and Chancel creation in Nobilis.
  • The point-build superspy agency rules in Ninjas & Superspies.
  • Giant robot creation in Mekton Zeta.
  • Superhero base creation in the Marvel Super Hero advanced rules.
I know I can't be the only one here who as a kid sketched out imaginary treehouse designs or super-secret headquarters. Letting the players design the above stuff satisfies this juvenile impulse while also giving the players a feeling of ownership and investment in a larger piece of the campaign world. And if you can get the players to design some of these items as a group, then suddenly they all have something in common beyond all being lone wolf psychos with hair triggers.