On our campaign blog, I’ve started publishing little news articles set in the Traveller universe intended to make the world seem more “alive.” The first one can be found here.
One of the players made an interesting remark when I mentioned my intention of doing this that I could not disagree with, specifically:
The thing I find best to make places feel ‘real’ is reoccurring places and NPCs. eg The PCs have to eat and since humans are creatures of habit, it’s likely we are going to the same diner again and again. Have shorts scenes where we chat with the likes of Janii the waitress where she may talk about mundane things like her mother going to the new hospital, or the recent terrorist attack on the capital, etc.
My thinking in that regard is to straight up steal the whole Faces & Places stuff from the Fate RPG (which I was originally exposed to with the way awesome Dresden Files RPG) with the caveat that each player comes up with two recurring Locations, where one is linked very closely to their PC while the other is tied more to the group. So, for example, with my (N)PC, Abe, I spin up (quickly) the following:
- (Personal): the clinic/hospital he worked at in M’Dwailei’s (currently unnamed) capital city during the 6 mos. down-time prior to previous GM’s run
- (Public): a space judo dojo on the highport run by a retired tramp freighter guy (and six-time space-judo champion).
To encourage players to participate here, I’m likely going to award CPs for this … hmm. Just occurred to me that what I could do is award those CPs but on the caveat that they’re spent toward Contacts tied to those locations? In GCA, a Contact defaults to Effective Skill 12, 9 or less, at 1 point which is perfect; if a PC wants to improve those attributes or even make the character an Ally, they’re free to do so with their personal CPs. Yeah. I really like this idea.