Day 8 - Stream.
The chances are that everyone today who addresses this subject matter will talk about streaming rpgs on-line and all that, but since I don't do that at all...
I'm going to talk about streams, as in water. :)
When one thinks of streams and rivers in rpgs, usually in fantasy rpgs, one tends to think of obstacles. Rivers and streams are watery terrain that obstructs the player characters' travel. There are usually ways of crossing rivers and streams, perhaps involving bridges, or places where the river or stream can be forded, or the really fun one - a series of stones that one has to hop and skip across as nimbly as one can without being dunked in the water. Needless to say, the most obvious method of crossing a stream or river is swimming. That can lead to all manners of complications based on what's in the water, the flow rate of the water, is the water choppy and of course, is there anything lurking in the water (see below).
However, what makes things more challenging is the creatures and beasties that can be encountered in rivers or streams. While one can encounter trolls and the like under bridges that one has to use to cross a body of water, or perhaps an ambush by some humanoids and the like, there are the more fantastical watery encounters that one can have at rivers and streams. (I am not providing any links to the creatures I'll mention below here; look 'em up for yourself. :)) One of my favourites tend to be fossergrim, just because of the nature of the creature and its appearance, and what they tend to get up to. However, one can encounter mermaids (yes, some dwell in rivers and lakes), kelpies, bunyip from Australian mythology, vodyanoy from Slavic mythology, brook horses, the monkey-like kappas, and water nymphs, to name a few. There are lots of other water creatures found in rivers and streams, but I leave the type of creatures and information on them as an exercise for the reader of this blog entry. :)
The most important part about using any fantastical creature or beastie as an encounter at a river or stream comes down to two things. First of all, how does the creature fit into the environment? What is the beastie doing there in the first place? It matters a heck of a lot if the creature in question is native to that location or whether it's a transient that finds itself in the location at a given time? Second, and perhaps more importantly, why is it there? This can be taken from the point of view of the creature's motivations and goals, but could also be simply that it needs this particular watery environment to survive for some reason. Or perhaps is cursed to remain in this area - and that in itself could be a part of the motivation, as the creature in question is also wanting a means to break the curse.
So remember, when the player characters in the game you're running come upon a stream or river, it can be an interesting, fun, perhaps strange experience that can lead to weird encounters and the like. Stream and river encounters can be interesting and memorable, if handled correctly by the GM.
Once more, given that I'm currently concussed, I hope these words have made some sense and that they offer a bit of perspective on the gaming experience from the GM's point of view. :)
And there you have it, my thoughts on this eighth day of #RPGaDay for August, 2021.
Comments, thoughts, questions, etc. are all welcome, of course. :)