I wrote earlier about the excitement that gets generated in a game during an important dice roll--even when it violates the rules of realism. Here's another trick I like to use to raise the tension: Four of the PCs are sleeping soundly. One is on guard. "You hear something to the west." "What is it?" "Well are you gonna look?" "Ummmm...yeah..." <--"Ok, roll on this chart" (Everybody stops what they're doing to look at the chart and the die.) (-clatter-) "6-'Something huge rears up in the dark' uh, ok...what is it?" "Well, now you know it's bigger than you. Are you gonna move closer and see?" "Uh..."(Player looks around at other players.) "Don't ask them, they're asleep, girl." "Ok, I'll go look." "Ok now roll on this chart." (Dungeon Master pulls out homemade Chart of Possible Size L Wandering Monsters for this environment.)
(Player looks at all the things that could be in the next room.)
(Moment in real life where hearing a bump in the night makes thoughts of every single thing that that sound could possibly represent cycle through your head is effectively simulated.)
(Player holds breath, rolls dice, prays for a 1.)
Now, for something completely different. Pictured above is miss Mandy Morbid, star of stage and screen. She is getting ready to write and run her very first adventure. The problem is: since I want to play in this adventure, I can't help her that much or it won't be a surprise when I go through it. Thus, I'm asking you for help: Mandy needs monsters for her upcoming adventure. It's going to be a sort of evil-enchanted-forest-fairy-tale-witch kind of adventure for low-level players. So, if you've got monsters (or any relatively modular trick or trap or location or item that you can drop into in a scary enchanted forest) please either leave a link in the comments (I will give it to Mandy and won't click it myself), or, if the info's not on the web, e-mail it to me--(zakzsmith at hot mail dot calm) and I'll forward it along to Mandy unopened, just put "Mandy Adventure" in the subject header . Monsters can be in any D&D system, just as long as you note which one it is. I promise a player report on anything she uses that you suggest. I suspect she's going to use one of these.
_______ P.S. Just got an interesting question from Matthew Slepin "I have a question with no snark intended: does the title of the blog mean that you're going to discuss some of the idiosyncratic nature of playing with porn stars OR is it just a way to get our attention (no bad thing)."
And the answer to that question is:
I mean to discuss gaming with porn girls specifically very soon, but those articles are a little complicated to write (they involve a little amateur sociology) so I'm starting off with stuff that hopefully any D&D blogger can use while I think about how exactly to tackle the subject. Expect something very soon.