MoonHunter Sayeth 20180817


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The New Building Blocks: 3x5 cards

If you have been following my Blog, you will have noticed that I do lots of things with 3x5 cards. They are a versatile organizational tool. My favorite way to use them is the various Cue Cards and Mind Mapping manually with 3x5 cards. There are some other ways I use them; and I keep finding ways others use them.

This is sort of a hybrid. It is like what I do, but isn't quite it.

So, if you have been following my Blog, you should know about Bits when starting up a chronicle The MoonHunter Way. If you haven't been following the Blog, go back and read the entire Making a Chronicle the MoonHunter Way.

This is about Bits. Now every player has a required number of bits for the chronicle (5 in the front, 5 after character creation).

Player's do not have to stop at the minimum requirements. They can give you more, so they can 1) Help make a more interesting setting, and 2) things they are interested in.

Bits can be major or minor characters, either non-protagonist and maybe a minor protagonist. (see here if that sounds confusing or you haven't read everything), Organizations, Nations, Locations, Items (Write ups), monster/ mooks (write up), bits of history/ world building, and plotlines and key scenes... often associated with a character, location, organizations, nations, and so on.

Every Bit is written up on a 3x5 card. This keeps the write ups brief. (Feel free to expand on to other cards or even sheets). Thus the cards build up the setting.

Players can get very into this setting/ chronicle building process. Especially mind mapping locations, relationships, and so on. Group Setting Creation (after you set up some controlling ideas/ seeds and the GM currates some of it to keep it in line) is great for top knotch settings and chronicles.

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I am using cards for a special kind of bits (in a recent chronicle based on Poul Anderson's Time Patrol).

Part of the problem running a time travel game, especially those set in the past, is the amount of study and research you have to do for each scenario/ location. It can be pretty darn daunting.

Situation Framings is my card (and it seems to be several cards). A requirement to "level up" past a certain point requires a situation framing. Consider it a "paragraph summary" of a cool bit of historical locations/ events/ people. This describes where, when, and who is in this frame... and why they are important/ interesting. You must include a minimum of 1-3 plot lines that could occur within this framing. If you turn in extra ones, you can earn XP or bonus points.

This ensures that there will be events that you as a player are interested in. It lightens the load of the GM, because if you are not a history major or serious buff, running a time travel game can suck up soooo much time just researching locations to land.

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Setting Creation, or more accurately Setting Refinement, is an on going process. Sure, you should be doing the bulk of chronicle creation in the beginning. You may need more details in a given location, more plotlines for a given set of locations, maybe some extra non protagonists (and their plotlines).

Now, you as a GM can do all of these. That is always a lot of fun.

Didn't we just mention, twice, that players can make these cards. They can make things that fascinate them. They can do this for building up their GMing/ building chops. Or they can do it for extra experience points or bonus points.

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There we go, showing several ways to use the 3x5 cards as the building blocks of the chronicle.
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