10 Ways to Train Your Brain for Inspiration — RPT#514 - Roleplaying Tips

10 Ways to Train Your Brain for Inspiration — RPT#514

From: Andrew S Rodgers

The Worldsmith RPG

Brain Inspiration

Ever been stuck for inspiration with the clock ticking down till that next session? Recent studies show we are able to gear our brain towards desired areas and influences. This means we GMs we can gear our brain towards role playing and the generation of ideas. The tips below will help you to create more and better ideas fast, saving you time and energy.

  1. To get the most benefit from the time you spend developing new ideas it helps to do it regularly.  This makes it easier to get into the groove, you’ll generate better quality ideas and you’ll also generate more ideas.
  2. A great challenge to set yourself if you’re just starting off is to do half an hour’s writing everyday for seven days straight. With this method you’ll find the first few days might be difficult, but by day six and seven your mind will be flowing with ideas and you’ll be writing for more than half an hour.
  3. Don’t close your mind off to things that may inspire you outside of your writing or game prep sessions.
  4. Create associations between what you write about or develop and something else. I typically use music. When I write about undead I’ll have Enigma MCMXC A.D. on, as when I was young and reading the Dragonlance series I would always be listening to this.If I’m writing about the drow then I’ll listen to Ommadawn as I think this is the type of music they would have. This music acts as a trigger for me, so when I’m lying in bed going to sleep at night with these playing it inspires my mind into action and I start to generate ideas around the topic associated with the music.
  5. Ask open-ended questions to yourself about the topic you want to develop. Open-ended questions cannot be answered in just one or two words. Make yourself answer these questions to brainstorm concepts and ideas around your topic of interest and flesh out what you are producing.Great examples of opened questions are “What are the overall plans and objectives of organisation XYZ?”, “What are the roles of the primary NPCs in the scenario?” and “When will this encounter take place in the adventure and why is it significant?”
  6. Brainstorm three times. Do it once until you can’t think of anything else. Do it again the next day. Follow this up with one last attempt. It is usually in this last session that the best ideas come forward.
  7. Ask your mates. I like to do this when I am struggling. I simply throw out what I’ve got to them and spark up the conversation. A couple of hours later I have some great ideas and also some leads to develop on my own time.
  8. Sometimes you need to trick your mind and use cues to get inspiration. These can be simple things such as leaving the lid off your pen, leaving room at the bottom of a page, or if you are like me and use dot points for each new idea, I will leave one on the page when I finish with a session. These might seem insignificant or irrelevant, but they help to train your brain to create ideas by sending a signal to it that you haven’t finished yet.
  9. Mix into this some generic media sources such as books, movies, computer games, pictures and posters. Many of your friends are likely to have seen or read them as well, so instead of directly taking ideas from them, grab a concept from them and adapt it. Put your own spin on it by using some of these tips.
  10. If you have a specific area you want to develop, Google the topic and see what comes back. There may be some great forums or websites you can read to spark an idea.

So with that deadline for your next session still looming, start gearing your brain by using the challenge in tip two. Set yourself the target, clear some time out of your day and get inspired.

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A Brief Word from Johnn

Zip of Text Archives Available

I just updated the zipped file of all issues in plain text format, just as they were emailed, from RPT#1 through to this issue.

Help yourself to this file (server might be slow for next couple of days due to download demand, so try again if your link times out) (RPT-Archives-Text 5 MB,zip).

1,000 NPC Traits

RPT reader Chad Samuels sent me a spreadsheet of 1,000 NPC traits. A great resource! Thanks Chad.

I also put all the traits into a blog post incase that format is easier.

Chad advises picking at least two traits per NPC to add some depth of personality.

Spreadsheet and blog post: 1,000 NPC traits.

Annual One Page Dungeon Contest Returns

Design a dungeon that fits on a page for the chance to win a great prize. Submission deadline is April 1.

View contest rules and past designs at: One Page Dungeon Contest.

Thanks to Alex Schroeder for the scoop on this.

Riddleport Recap – Session 18

My campaign went on an unintentional hiatus but we finally got a game in this week. We stopped for Christmas, then work schedules conflicted, then I was out of town. Feb. 25 saw Session 18 kick-off with a terrific battle against devils.

Bearded in Their Lair

The PCs had just returned to their inn after a bodyguard and escort mission involving a brief skirmish with beach hobos. The group hears a scream from the kitchen and find the cook and maid being attacked by bearded devils.

The battle took a couple hours of session time. There were five devils, five PCs, a cook, a maid, and three dead sailors involved in the fight. Near the end, the ghost of the former inn owner, Saul, materializes and warns the heroes their friend and mentor is being attacked on the roof.

The character’s clean-up the devils, though the devil leader managed a teleport escape after leaving his mark, and head to the NPC’s shop next door. There they find the shop has been vandalized and looted. Their friend, Ivario the Herbmaster, was nowhere to be found.

Then they head to the roof and see signs of a fight. However, no trail or clue is found, so the PCs go back downstairs, despondent about their friend, but hopeful he has been kidnapped and is still alive.

The devils’ plan worked perfectly. While minions distracted the PCs and started a noisy fight, Ivario was successfully taken by surprise on the roof while tending his gardens.

The Hydra in the Lighthouse

After resting, the group contacts their new found fence, Wren, and arranges for a pickup of recent loot for selling. She arrives at the back of the inn with a small cart. She will return in two days with the party’s guilders (Riddleport gold pieces).

Suddenly the inn door crashes open and a guest, Lady Warren, staggers into the room with a wounded companion leaning on her for support. The PCs help them both to Lady Warren’s room and ask what happened.

Lady Warren used to own the building beside the PCs inn. In the second session, she sold the building to a gentleman named Astrinus for a tidy sum. Wealthy but trapped in port because of unusual storms ceaselessly pulverizing the city, she decided to seek out a druid for training for fun. Unbeknownst to the PCs, she is actually getting trained by a witch and has formed an adventuring party called the Diamond Rats.

Unfortunately, the Diamond Rats met their demise on their first mission exploring an abandoned lighthouse outside the city limits. She tells the PCs the whole story and gets their word she can accompany them when the PCs investigate the lighthouse for themselves.

The Rats had heard rumours of great treasure hidden underneath the lighthouse. They explored, found a cavern below and were attacked by a fire-breathing dragon with five heads. They managed to chop off three heads before the creature killed four members of the party. Lady Warren and another Rat flee for their lives and return to the inn.

Sidetrek to the Church of Ragathiel

The PCs help Lady Warren with healing and leave them to rest. The group then heads to the Church of Ragathiel – the paladin’s church. Ragathiel priests run a drug den and whorehouse in the cellar of a building in the Roseton district. The first floor is the church proper. Deeper in the cellar lies the planning areas, main altar and priest quarters. They profit handsomely from this operation, plus get a great deal of news, gossip and information from patrons.

The church’s business initially shocked the paladin and his fellow party members. However, the church’s rationale seemed to placate them enough for the PCs to consider a business offer the priests made in a previous session. The priests wanted to partner with the PCs and start a new branch of operations out of the PCs’ inn.

The party initially refused. However, surprising me, they decided to visit the church in Roseton in Session #18 and discuss new terms for a possible deal. Eventually they shake hands. The Church of Ragathiel will start a new drug den and whorehouse out of the PCs’ inn in exchange for providing protection, financing building security upgrades and sharing revenues. The paladin must also train new martial disciples of the church.

That messy business taken care of, the group returns to find Lady Warren sitting at a table surrounded by tavern patrons and empty ale mugs. In slurred speech, she is recounting the terrible tale of the Hydra of the Lighthouse and the great treasure still undiscovered beneath it. The characters immediately intervene and guide the lady back to her room.

With great player and character skill, the group manages to seed false information amongst the tavern patrons, discouraging them from heading the lighthouse themselves. Whew!

The following morning, the PCs head to the lighthouse, but without the Lady Warren. Interesting.

At the abandoned building they encounter the hydra, now with eight heads. In an amazing feat of combat prowess, the creature is dispatched in mere seconds. (Note to self, do not let the PCs team up on foes.)

Leaving the hydra’s cave through a tunnel that meanders deeper underground, they emerge into a strange cavern with several exits. Beside each exit is a face carved out in relief. The dwarf decides to scout the cavern out while the rest of the party watches on.

The Purrfect Setup

As the dwarf examines the cavern for traps and secrets, a terrible creature leaps at him out of the darkness! With soft, golden fur and a fluffy curled tail, a small cat runs at the dwarf. Before the stout priest can hold out his arms to catch the cuddly little thing, the cat lashes out with its eight paws, grabs the dwarf, and drags him back into a dark alcove.

Stunned, the PCs approach cautiously and use ranged weapons to attack from a distance. The small feline purrs softly as she feeds the dwarf to her two cute kittens. They proceed to bite the dwarf’s face and arms off. Mother joins in the fun and the dwarf is down for the count. Forever.

A tough battle ensues and the PCs finally manage to bring the three little animals down. Scratched and bleeding, the PCs grab the dwarf’s body and make to head back to the city.

We ended the session there. There is a lesson here, somewhere, but I am not sure what it is. I think it is that karma gets you in the end. Doing an end-run around Larry Warren resulted in PC death. Rats.

My New GM Costume Worked

For Christmas, my wife gave me a baseball cap that says Killer DM in gold letters on it. I wore the hat during the session, and lo and behold, it brought me success. I had a great night’s sleep afterward. I dreamt of kitty cats and screaming hydras demanding retribution.

P.S. For everyone concerned about the dwarf, the party plans on getting him raised. He had not signed Astrinus’s contract, but the party should be able to figure something out. That’s what I love about my players. They keep getting back up!

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Use These Mechanics to Roleplay More

From: Mark of the Pixie

“How do you use ROLL-playing to add to the fun of the ROLE- playing aspect of your game?”

Passions

Biggest aid I have for this is Passions. I let each player pick a single Passion, such as “protect the innocent.” When that passion is in play, such as when the PCs are trying to stop bad guys burning down an orphanage, the PC with the Passion gets a bonus to any one d20 roll per round (skill roll, attack or whatever).

Rarely applicable passions such as protect orphans give you +3. More common ones, like protect children, are +2. Common passions, like protect the innocent, are just +1. Self- serving passions such as protect myself or always win are not allowed. Even very common ones like protect everyone are disallowed.

The drawback of a Passion is if they are acting against it, then the bonus turns into a penalty. For example, if they needed to shoot an innocent, their protect the innocent +1 would become a -1 to their roll.

To keep things fair I also give these to the villains. This not only keeps everything balanced, it also reminds me as GM do more roleplaying (it is all too easy to slip into the boring “he hits you” when you are running a multitude of enemies). Villainous passions can be things like get rich, serve our leader and destroy all humans.

Fortune at the Start

I also use a “fortune at the start” method, which isn’t possible in all systems, but with my home-brew system you always make two rolls whatever you are doing: one for your action/attack and one for your reaction/defense. Once players have their rolls, they then decide which is which and what they are going to do with them.

The fortune system gives them a lot of freedom. For example, a player can choose to put the highest on their attack to represent their character being angry or aggressive. Alternatively, they can put it on their reaction/defense if they’re feeling defensive.

If they were going to try something special, but they get a crap roll, they can choose not to waste their shot. Similarly, if they roll well, they look for something spectacular to do with it.

Cooperation Bonus

I also give good support/co-operation bonuses. This helps foster teamwork, which leads into more interaction between PCs, which gives more fuel for roleplaying. Game the Environment

Easiest is to ramp up your own descriptions and provide lots of different environments with ready combat modifiers. Repeated fights with orcs in empty rooms gets a bit dull after a while. Give the orcs nets and have them trying to capture – not kill – the party makes it different.

Have the fight occur on a ladder, or in turbid waist deep water. Have the bad guys use the environment to their advantage and show the PCs they can do the same. Before running a fight, ensure there are at least two things the PCs could use in the environment to their advantage or that could be used against them.

Maybe the wilderness encounter is in a field of blackberry bushes, which the goblins are using as cover and a sort of weak Entangle spell, but are highly flammable due to the drought. Maybe the cave has many stalactites that can be used as cover, but also can be knocked so they fall on foes. Remove Coincidence

Another technique is to remove coincidence. If you roll a random encounter with kobolds, it isn’t actually random. Someone, somewhere, made it happen. Maybe an old foe paid the kobolds to slow down the PCs, maybe the kobolds where paid to track the PCs but get discovered. This turns what could have been a meaningless series of dice rolls into part of the story.

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How Do You GM Great Droids?

In RPT #512 RND(axe) asked for help on running interesting droids in his Star Wars game. I received the following two great responses:

Keep Droids Tools

From: Mark of the Pixie

When I run droids, I stay focused on their purpose. Droids are tools, not characters (helps stop them outshining PCs). It colors their outlook on everything.

If you want to make them comedic, you need only take this narrow perception to an extreme. An example would be a repair droid who keeps trying to fix everything, including a PC’s poor pronunciation, or the captain’s failed marriage.

By keeping droids as tools, it allows PCs to use droids to do things and still have the PCs shine. Apply the same to NPCs, and the assassin droids become just an extension of the villain. Give Droids One Interesting Quirk.

Give Droids One Quirk and Run with It

From: David K.

In the first Star Wars campaign I played in, the GM had a droid he called ML-58. My character, a Jedi Investigator, and the rest of the party were trapped on a space station, so we borrowed one of the docked starships to escape to the planet below. ML, or “Mel” as we called him, happened to be on that ship.

We didn’t think much of him until our first battle of the campaign when I found I no longer had my light saber. After the battle, I learned Mel had stolen and disassembled my light saber and, after the exchange of a few blows, he was my eternal enemy for the rest of the campaign.

Despite my continuing hatred of Mel, I think he proves a good example of an interesting droid character. Whenever anything mechanical was left unattended near him, he would compulsively tinker with it. In this way, I was:

  • Assaulted by my own cargo mover droids, which he reprogrammed
  • Flamethrower by my own astromech, which he reprogrammed
  • Held hostage and crammed unceremoniously into a packing crate by the above cargo movers

Through just one personality trait (compulsive tinkerer), this typical protocol droid became a memorable NPC.

Give droids one interesting quirk and run with it. Some examples I’ve used are:

  • Shuts down when he sees a battle droid, storm trooper or other enemy
  • Cannot tell a lie, and cannot avoid telling the truth (this is great in negotiation encounters, especially if the droid is a translator)
  • Is romantically interested in one of the PC’s, and brings them little gifts (such as the daughters of political figures and stolen jewelry)
  • Likes to instigate disagreements with unpleasant people (which often turn violent)

Some famous examples of these are Marvin (the depressed robot from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), HK-47 (refers to non-droids as “Meatbags” and takes a bit too much pleasure in killing them), and even R2-D2 (who always has a new trick up his sleeve since we last saw him).

Make Their Personality About Their Function

From: Tynam

I think of GMing droids as much like GMing spirits in a game like Werewolf: They have one thing they do well, and their personality is all about that.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t give them depth and surprise. For one campaign, I had a recurring NPC smuggler/crime lord for the party to deal with, and some bodyguard droids in the form of protocol droids – specifically, butlers.

Spending a couple of adventures setting up the polite, deferential butler waiting in every scene involving my crime lord was worth it for the players’ reactions in the finale…when the attacking storm troopers got cut down using a repeating blaster with the same calm precision the droid usually used for dinner trays and com call interruptions. Especially as the players suddenly realized how close *they’d* come to real trouble on previous occasions.

Add Humanity

From: josh

I have not run too many droids, but in a long Star Wars campaign I ran we have an A.I. that was hardwired into the group’s starship. They named her Vicky, and she started out as a typical Artificial intelligence, similar to Cortana from the Halo games.

However, as time went on, she took on some more human tendencies, as she was designed to learn from her experiences. In the campaign, it was considered typical protocol to “reset” the AI after a few months so that they would not become too “human” for their own good.

The party became so attached to Vicki that they never reprogrammed her. She actually became a sort of vital NPC that the players would go to great lengths to protect and save, and I dare say she pulled them out of some tough situations too!

It was very cool to watch the players bond so well with an NPC that was not even technically a human.

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For Your Game: 10 Divine Concepts

From: Murometz, manfred, Dozus

Here are ten takes on unusual approaches to the divine for your campaigns and worlds.

1. Hostile Takeover

This world started like many others, along with a pantheon of native gods, but a cataclysmic event changed all that. An alien pantheon of gods, from worlds and realities unknown, usurped the gods of these people, imprisoning, banishing or even destroying them outright.

Confusion reigns below, but eventually the new gods make themselves known to the populace. Reactions vary. Some take to worshiping the newcomers. Some cling to their old, perhaps now nonexistent gods. Those priests and certain mages that derive their powers from above will have little choice, though, if they wish to keep their flow of magic.

Perhaps a campaign built around the search for the old gods? Regardless, it would certainly make for a dynamic world.

2. Revolving Pantheons

This world is too small for the sheer power of all deities (or they just can’t abide each other). Therefore, gods take turns in exerting their influence; at other times they are unreachable. If you need support from high on, you have to pray to the gods who are present – but be careful of what you ask of whom…the gods you worship may become displeased with wrong associations.

Here, most people will have several from several pantheons. And whether a god’s influence revolves by season, year or some other mechanism, all people know it, and religion always involves a little politicking – the priests are the greatest masters of this art.

3. Secret Names

There is a name publicly known to designate the deity. However, for praying, people use the secret name of their god(s), a name they have chosen themselves, or learned from others (typically, it is passed on in a family). And they better protect it, because if others make use of the name, they can:

  • Call for favors for themselves – and gods don’t grant many of those!
  • Revoke any boons and blessings to the former users of that name
  • Possibly anger the power in question

It is customary to devise intricate rituals with hidden meanings to appear as a distinct enough supplicant to one’s god. In addition, the longer a name is used, the easier the contact becomes. (This works equally well with monotheism – one common god invoked by many names.)

4. As Below, So Below

A nearly impenetrable haze and thick-laden atmosphere surround this world, making it nigh impossible to see the sun and stars. Here the races evolved differently. They did not have the great firmament to gaze upon. They did not have the night skies to decipher and stare at in bewilderment and dread.

Instead the people of this world looked below to reach enlightenment. The oceans of the realms function here, as the skies and heavens do in most orthodox worlds.

It is below the endless, raging deep, where the races believe the gods come from. The oceans are the great mystery, not the skies above, and the realm of the gods can be found in the great unknown below the surface, in some eerie benthic realm of cold and darkness. Many subtle and some profound nuances exist in this world, and in other ways it is not unlike other worlds with intricate, omnipresent pantheons.

5. Ultimate Sacrifice

People, even ordinary folk can call on the aid of gods – but the helping god will be paid on the spot, usually by draining the caller’s life force. (The form may vary by deity and purpose – sanity, anyone? Priests devoted to that god will seem to pay less.) You want a miracle, you get it.

Priests, in general, are those who can get away with more. But calling for any real favor will get the person hurt. Calling for big favors is the same as, “Save my tribe, oh lord, and take me as your willing sacrifice.”

6. They Will Save Us! (But Have Not Yet Been Born)

Gods do not exist…yet. But we know they are coming. And when they do come, they will know all our deeds and failings. Act properly, or our future saviors will not be pleased. Thus, everyone is preparing for the Great Divine Birth.

Just need to find out what the gods will be like.

7. Careful What You Pray for (And When!)

Everything here revolves around rituals. Worship here is not unlike worship in orthodox worlds with one major exception: prayer must be conducted at precisely the right moments, and only at those precise moments. Otherwise, dire consequences can ensue with prayers mis-answered and tragedies abounding.

The priest class here is of vital importance and of highest standing. They are the Time-Keepers. They know exactly what can be prayed for and when! Usually, the priests will base their guidance according to a complicated astrological system, not unlike the infinitely complex Hindu astrology of our world.

8. Ghost-Gods (Honor thy Grandpa!)

Ancestor worship taken to an extreme. The dead are gods. And the only god is Death. Those who pass on become his demi-gods. The living is well aware of their reality and indeed worship countless generations of deceased relatives! No guard dogs necessary in these homes. Spirits are always afoot. In fact, one can’t escape their gods. There are more and more every passing generation. And they like to bicker, just like your real-life relatives. These ones, however, can also grant boons to their living kin, courtesy of the one god, Father Death.

Careful tracking of family trees in this world is a crucial facet of life. Honor thine old-folk! You will soon be praying to them.

9. Deeds, Not Words

God is in all things material, and therefore he sees whatever people do in the material world…and that is what matters, what you really do – materialism, taken to a divine extreme. There will be various economic systems tried, and differing religions and world views on how to manage your property.

Prayers are nice, but to approach a god you have to actually DO something. Gods do all the hard work (they run the universe after all), and mortals shouldn’t stay behind!

Some of the worshipers periodically rebuild and destroy their temples, again and again. Most create worthy offerings, and consecrate their products to their chosen patron. No matter the approach, words alone never work.

From a moral point of view, the droves may keep on babbling, but it is the true substance, the real things, that count. It does not matter what you say, only what you do. That is, what differs good from evil. (Note: may have a special fate for the slackers.)

10. Fear the Gods

Gods are dangerous creatures, sometimes friendly, mostly not. Temples are the way to make contact with them if not easier, then at least concentrated in one place. Were it not for the temples, gods could be running amok among the people.

Therefore, mortals have to keep the gods close to temples, entertained and worshipped. It doesn’t make the worst of them any better, and there is no guarantee some won’t go on trips now and then.

Still, there have to be priests who are hardy men, able to survive the rigors of their position, get a sufficient number of worshippers to make the gods feel important enough, and mediate the contact between mortals and immortals.

They are the diplomats and defenders of mortals. The gods are miserable bastards, deal with it (and don’t say it out loud).

For 20 more divine ideas, visit the original article at Strolen’s Citadel: 30 Divine Concepts.

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Johnn Four’s GM Guide Books

In addition to doing this newsletter, I have written several GMing books to inspire your games and make GMing easier and more fun:

NPC Essentials

Critically acclaimed and multiple award-winning guide to crafting, roleplaying, and GMing three dimensional NPCs for any game system and genre. This book will make a difference to your GMing.

Free preview: http://www.roleplayingtips.com/url/npceprev

Filling the Empty Chair

How to find great gamers fast and easy online with my list of the best gamer registries and player finder websites. Recruit offline quickly with 28 new and easy ideas to find gamers in your local area. And attract the best players with my tips and advice on how to create the right kind of ads.

http://www.roleplayingtips.com/url/chair

Inns, Taverns, and Restaurants

How to design, map, and GM fresh encounters for RPG’s mostpopular locales. Includes campaign and NPC advice, plus several generators and tables: http://www.roleplayingtips.com/url/taverns

Adventure Essentials: Holidays

Advice and tips for designing compelling holidays that not only expand your game world but provide endless natural encounter, adventure, and campaign hooks.

http://www.roleplayingtips.com/url/holiday

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Create a Communications Service for Your City

From: Johnn Four

One Last Tip

Soon after my Riddleport campaign started it became apparent we needed an in-game device to make communication fast and simple.

With allies, contacts and leads to follow-up on, the PCs had lots to communicate. However, the city was too dangerous to allow casual movement. With NPCs averaging 8th level, the 1st level PCs did not stand a chance unless they traveled in a group.

Group travel meant slow communication. The group can only be in one place at a time. Add in some street encounters, and game sessions were bogging down.

Enter the Red Caps. I scooped this idea from Ars Magica (I have Ars Magica 3rd edition and am not sure if Red Caps exist in other editions). Red Caps are couriers who take messages anywhere you like in Riddleport for a fee. It is one falcon (silver piece) for standard delivery and one guilder (gold piece) for secure delivery. Secure delivery means no one will read the message before it is delivered. 😉

This service has worked remarkably well. It lets the plot go faster, gives the characters more freedom and choices, and give players new tactical options plus the ability to get informed.

For example, I believe it was Devious Dave who instantly thought about using the service to deliver Explosive Runes. Thus, the new Red Caps policy of permanently blacklisting customers who abuse their service.

Colin figured out they could be used as scouts, like canaries in mines. Thus, the new Red Caps policy of permanently blacklisting customers who abuse their service plus the promise to hire an assassin to whack any customer who deliberately harms a Red Cap.

I asked my players, for this article, what they thought of the Red Caps as a service:

“Red Caps? Dose funny guys dat run around an carry stuff? Dey no good. Dey no take dead bodies.” – Slag

“Red Caps provide a great service. Somehow they are able to get around this forsaken *belch* place without getting assaulted *spit*. Wish we could use them to send ourselves around *snort*.” – Fane

“Red Caps? Good guys. Reliable, and just like cockroaches they manage to get wherever they need to go, and nobody can kill them.” – Vigor

“Red Caps?! Yeah. Love ‘em. You eat 4 and then just wait for the walls to melt. I have been using them to fix scars that riddle my body. What?! The Red Cap messengers, not the mushrooms? Oh. Very useful. I assume they are not very tasty. Something that is never attacked or eaten usually has something repulsive to deter would-be attackers. No, I would definitely not eat a Red Cap messenger.” – Xan

“Red Caps? Those little bastards are tremendous: they can go anywhere, and no one really sees them. Now, I’m not saying I’d know firsthand, but that sounds like a pretty useful disguise to me….” – Greg

“Never before in my travels have I met with such a reliable service as the Red Caps. In my previous business as a potion distiller extraordinaire, I never once found fault with their delivery practices or rates. My hat’s off to you, Red Caps!” – Thorn

“Red Caps? Both enviable and dangerous. They’re the perfect cover if you need to impersonate someone and get through a hostile district. But they’re probably spying on us. Scramble your messages, send a false trail, and don’t trust them. Who do they really serve? How long will it be until someone gets a death spell in the mail? Don’t let that be you.” – Velare

The group has used this campaign device well to speed gameplay up and keep the action rolling. I recommend every GM running an urban campaign think about adding a similar service.

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