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Ghosts of the Noman-lands

Do all roads lead to an inn? – cliché in RPG

Can using cliché such as meeting in an inn be beneficial in RPG?
Can using cliché such as meeting in an inn be beneficial in RPG? Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Even at the world’s lowest backwater, there’s an inn, a bar or other gathering place of some sort. And in it, you will almost certainly find rumours, mysterious strangers and, most importantly, the main plot. It sounds irritatingly obvious or overused, isn’t it? Well, maybe. But I also disagree about using cliché themes in RPG.

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The first session of RPG campaign in the Brown Lands – Setting the Stage

Atmosphere at the beginning of the first session of RPG campaign is defining for the whole game.
The atmosphere at the beginning of the first session of the campaign is defining for the whole game, photo by Zac Edmonds on Unsplash

Crafting an introduction to the first session of an RPG campaign is a powerful way of setting the tone for the adventures to come. In my opening post of the series, I described a handful of ways to bring up the unique feeling of Middle-earth in my Brown Lands campaign. Those concerned mostly the general layout of the plot. This time, I’d like to focus on how to perform it at the RPG table. So, let’s set off right into the campaign!

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A Tale Never Heard of in Middle-earth – (Sub)creating a story in the well-known setting

Sunset over the heather in bloom on the North York Moors National Park, photo by Helen Hotson on Adobe Stock

The Brown Lands were barren and empty, a realm that no lord nor lady thought of claiming as their own. No living soul dwelt among its formless moors, windswept hills and ominous gullies. Or so it was in the time of great events that were passed to us in The Red Book of West March. But these unwelcoming, unclaimed lands were once home to the hardy folk who enjoyed staying outside the affairs of the broader world. It is the story of their vanishing – yet another among Middle-earth’s tales of decline and passing.

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