Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Notes from the Road - Place Names

I've been doing the annual-ish roadtrip move for the last couple days, so I've had a decent bit of time to think on gaming topics.  Not terribly productive, since I'm ever-so-slightly exhausted (haven't had an 8+ hour night of sleep in May so far that I recall, what with final projects and then 8:30 finals and now moving), but better today than yesterday or the day before that.

First, place names.  The Midwest has some pretty good ones which may have to see use in ACKS.  I submit for your consideration:
  • White Lake - lakes aren't usually white.  Is it white sand, or bubbles, or some eldritch contaminant rendering its waters like unto the Dyne?
  • Tongue River - dare I ask...  ?
  • Crazy Woman Creek - Is it called this because a crazy woman lives here, or as a general statement?  The first is more useful; could be a hag, a witch, a sorceress, a whole band of female berserkers...  who knows, as long as she's crazy.  And crazy folks make great PCs, enemies of PCs, and quest-sources.
  • Dead Horse Creek - Maybe somebody's horse died here, or maybe the water kills all horses that it comes into contact with.  Or something stranger still.
  • Mead Creek - Well, this is an easy one.  Readily distinguishable from other creeks by the fact that nothing lives in it and the fumes sometimes ignite during lightning storms.  Perhaps it has its source in a dwarven brewery automation project gone awry (but that's Dwarf Fortress talking again).
  • The town of Acme - Renowned for the works of its most famous resident, a demented (and possibly not-so-skilled) dwarven machinist.  Responsible for Mead Creek?
  • The town of Reliance - What do they rely upon, I wonder?
  • The Busted Nut Bar and Grill - I kid you not.  Probably not going into ACKS, though.  Unless it sells a variety of alcohol produced from fermented legumes...  ?  Now that I'm entertaining the notion, I suppose The Busted Nut Tavern might actually have to be a place.
Along similar lines, I realized that if a GM tried to name a mountain range "The Rocky Mountains", he'd get shouted down hard by his players with cries of "What's next, the Sandy Desert, Muddy Swamp, Plains of Flatness, and Frozen Tundra?" The fact that a name of such quality is in common use in real life therefore amuses me.  There's also the counterargument of "Yeah, it might not be inspired...  but your players will definitely remember it."

I also had some thoughts on linking the availability of the ACKSPC classes to actions in-game, but it's late and I'm tired, so that's a post for another day.

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