I’ve been played Dead Cells today. It seems surprisingly good, and has given me ideas for rpgs, particularly dungeon/hexcrawl ones, and perhaps particularly for open table games:
- Parcel out knowledge in little, mysterious hints of one or two lines. In session announcement emails, on playbooks and other props, hanging on the back of the GM screen today…
- Random roll when you enter the dungeon for major state-changing events that day. E.g.
- There’s a goblin raid ongoing in the section
- The Gobling King has recalled all goblins for a feast, so there are no goblins other than there
- Dungeon World (or similar) location moves that don’t supplement but replace the standard set. Have as cards/sheets that you stick over the standard list while in that area.
- Enemies you can harvest for rare ingredients (seems obvious, but I’ve never done it)
- Dole out world knowledge in tiny parcels through item names, in-game events (hearing that the Hate-Dwarves attacked means that you now know Hate-Dwarves exist), creature types (knowing that the Funnymen are wretched humans with bizarre things grafted onto them implies the existence of a malevolent grafter)…
- People love treasure, especially if there’s a chance of a rare and valuable item. I’ve never got good a treasure — my default is to forget it entirely, or be realistic (and thus give far less than is best for player reward experience). For some games that doesn’t matter, but I rarely shift gears properly when it does.
- Let players unlock things that will outlive their character — perhaps for them, perhaps for all players. Advantage of latter is that it makes player-player balancing easier.