No, not Timmy: me! I have fallen down the well that is Character Building.
No, seriously, I’m having so much fun creating my paladin that it’s become my obsession of late. I have a somewhat obsessive personality (importantly different from an addictive personality) and when I find that new shiny thing to research and plan and arrange I am the happiest of clams. And having just finished an awesome Pumpkin Party, my decompression mode does seem to want to manifest in delving deeper into my borrowed Player’s Handbook.
I love worksheets.
I was the kid in school that loved homework if it included worksheets. (Okay, I loved most homework anyway, let’s be honest. Which is why those dreams I have of being back in school and totally slacking on assignments aren’t so much scary as confusing: why would I do that?!) And extra summer work? Oh, yes, please! Worksheets were like activity books to me, the same general idea. You see where I’m going with this, right? I started filling in my character sheets on Sunday and filling in all those little blanks just makes me so happy. Plus there was shopping involved–clothes, supplies, armor, weapons… it’s all good!
And even after our Ravenloft misadventure (we had fun, sure, but we certainly didn’t accomplish much), Saturday night, I may not have much more of a clue on how to actually PLAY an RPG than before, I know that our group is going to make it as fun as possible. And I suppose that’s what counts in the end. Our first game is tentatively set for the end of the month, so I’ve got the whole of November to work out backstory and motivations and all that sort of thing.
But what does this have to do with the book, huh? Is it just my way of distracting you from the fact that I’m not updating my percentages complete this week? (And if that was the case, pointing it out the way I just did would rather defeat the point, right?) No, I’m getting somewhere with this, I think.
You see, there’s another aspect of ‘Raiding Party that has yet to be developed. Yes, it’s a book that can be read both as a comic adventure as well as used as a tool for food preparation. By definition of its existence it is interactive. And, yet, there’s another layer of that (the interactive-ness bits) that I want present, an optional use of the book to make using it–and actually cooking from it–part of a game. To that end, working with the character sheets has given me some insight into the process of designing the book with an eye towards this functionality.
From the get-go each recipe was going to have a skill rating (from 1 to 5, I’m thinking) and experience points based on skills and tools used. Thinking about alignments, though, got me thinking about how that would work for recipes. What would be the cuisine equivalents of lawful, chaotic, neutral, good and evil? It’s something to consider.
In fact, I get asked a lot–when people here about the concept of What to Feed Your Raiding Party–will the recipes all have funny names? No. That’s one thing I’m adamant about: I don’t want the recipes, themselves, seen as novelties. This is real food, food that you can serve to your gamer buddies and also impress your mother-in-law with and not have to explain what the name means. Know what I mean?
What are your thoughts? On silly versus straight names, recipe alignments, anything? I’m listening in the comments!