Teleport With Style

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0808

Table of Contents

Hau?oli Friday, %FIRSTNAME%

Today’s Musing is both a fun bit of inspiration and some age-old advice.

While surfing, I found a great table from John Stater over at Land of Nod.

It asks, and answers, the question of how you appear when coming out of a teleport.

Here’s a few of John’s often funny ideas:

  1. Appear as free-floating fetus and age into current form
  2. Appear as skeleton and grow muscle, tendons etc until fully formed
  3. Trapdoor opens in sky and you fall out
  4. Beam in like Star Trek – lots of noise and sparkles
  5. Hole appears and you crawl through it
  6. Lightning strikes ground and leaves you when the dust clears
  7. Your form is poured like silvery, bubbly liquid that falls from the sky
  8. Space shatters like a mirror, revealing you
  9. Purple smoke seeps up from the ground and you appear, genie-like
  10. Velvet curtains held aloft by cherubs parts to reveal you in all your glory

Here’s a couple of ideas from me:

  1. Images of people blink past until yours appears (an interesting way to reveal future NPCs)
  2. You step out of a strange background (make the background a plot teaser)
  3. You appear dead by some terrible means and then heal (foretell the PC’s future)
  4. You appear but something minor has changed (hair, item of clothing, scar)
  5. You appear as normal but have new memories (perhaps a way to provide visions and hooks)
  6. You have an encounter in null space before appearing

These are fun and simple ways to add flavour to the game. Possibly even some plot.

Add Your Own Flavour

We used to do this a lot in my campaigns. Take something assumed or hand-waved by the rules and flesh it out.

That’s today’s tip for you.

Find an element of your game you just gloss over. A spell effect, a skill check, a character feat or trait.

Add details to it. Perhaps a random table. Better yet, ask the player to invent and roleplay the details.

Avoid penalizing through flavour. The goal instead is to open up fun new gameplay currently hidden in your rules and campaign. If you do this, drop me a note and let me know how it goes.