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I always have liked CityWorks, publised by Legends & Lairs for designing cities. You can read an account of one person following the process here. The book itself gives suggestions for hooks you can watch for as you create the city, and suggestions for fleshing it out with NPCs. Overall, it's a very top-down approach to populating a city, just ...


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Flying Buffalo used to publish a series of generic "City Books", with lots of details to help you flesh out your towns and cities. They're probably out of print by now, but I'd bet you could find them via Amazon.


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I'm not the hugest fan of introducing puzzles like this into games but I think the best way to do this is to solve them out of character and then, if necessary, roleplay the solution in character. So long as everyone knows that you're going to do this (announcing it beforehand might be a good tactic), it eliminates or at least reduces many of the issues at ...


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Leave solving the riddles to the players and create other challenges for the characters. Some examples for D&D 3.5 (using the giant example but it might work for any riddles or puzzles): Hints related to character knowledge - a riddle may contain a reference to a legend, local event etc. If the character makes a successful knowledge check (history, ...


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The reason the rolls seems unfair is a problem called Goblin Dice. When talking about combat, d20 decide if a goblin lives or dies - but we all know sooner or later he will kick the bucket. When we use d20 to determine the success of one-of-a-kind events (like making a bluff check, a diplomacy check or a riddle-solving check), the high variability of the ...


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In nearly any system of magic, there are rules & boundaries that define its limitations. Without such, magic users would be gods, omnipotent, and boring. As such, if properly functioning magic is a barrier to the plausibility of your story, then you must find a reason for magic's failure. Something to consider for added plausibility, or idea ...


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Depending how you treat the way Elves magically grow their food (not BAM! food magically, instantly spawned but more of an enhanced farming), one approach could be that it's not the Elves' magic being block, but the soil itself has become corrupt. Example: The ground water has become tainted due to a toxic slime monster in the cavern where the water table ...


21

Finding out why the elven magic has stopped working could be a very interesting adventure! The direction of the adventure largely depends on how magic "works" in your setting. This is only really limited by your imagination and what you and your players will enjoy. Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 1. Magic comes from the gods, ...


5

Elves? Without Magic? Well, yes, you can have magic be blocked in most RPGs that feature magic. I'm assuming this is some version of D&D, or at least the elves get their magic from something, instead of intrinsically having it. In D&D 3.5 parlance, this is the difference between divine casters and arcane casters. If the elves depend on nature ...


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First off, congrats on taking-up the mantle of GM! Secondly, if you don't mind making-up some new spells to fit your story, it's pretty simple: The elven crop-growing spells are being blocked by some evil magics. The Evish farmers should have some sort of clue that leads the PC's through a detective story. The farmers have clues that lead the PC's to some ...


2

Zombie apocalypses range from a slug feast (Left4Dead2) to a vehicle for huis-clos building on the survivors' slow but assured spiral into inhumanity (Walking Dead). It seems that you are aiming more towards the latter. For me, Night of the Living Dead and Walking Dead and ... are all scary because they are all about the slow, methodical, and inextricable ...


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The Setting I've run zombie apocalypse adventures before. The tricks that worked for me were: (1) Start with a lot of low level characters, (2) Have them search for a defendable position, (3) Only hit them with small groups of zombies at first, (4) Let them get comfortable, then (5) over run them with a large "herd" of zombies, and (6) Chase them until they ...


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I read in a novel (Streets of Blood by Carl Sargent, an older one set during 2E or 3E) about a guy paying runners (gang members with some Cyberware) 2000 Yen each (500 up front, 1500 upon completion) for a protection run, in which they were in a firefight, and some died. The payout seemed really interesting to the characters as they lived in the slums of ...


5

I'm not sure there is a single best answer for this situation but I'll try to give you some ideas. There is an RPG System called GUMSHOE that is entirely based around the idea of investigation. Don't let the PC choose their side. I can't really think of any real world context where someone could do this in an official capacity. They also have very ...



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