Friday, February 14, 2020

Fun with Personal Journals of NPCs/PCs/Party

(One of) the NPCs accompanying or otherwise in cahoots with The Party keeps a written journal/diary/record, from which he/she is fond of  reading aloud, possibly out of megalomania or narcissism, maybe vanity or passive aggression or simple obliviousness... or perhaps the entries are delivered as a meta-game 'narration insight' explicitly via DM, intended more for the Players than their Characters.

This could be a fun recurring 'gag'; a way to begin each session, like a TV serial introduction, or tersely summarize before setting watch each night... handle the exposition, recap status and such, foreshadow, drop in a laugh or eyebrow-raiser, as The Players gain otherwise unavailable insight into their NPC companion, and the DM gets to explore the personality and voice of their character creation, prepared or impromptu.
Tradition could start in bittersweet moment of gravity, as a dying NPC, inexplicably still vocal at -37 HP, passes their beloved book to a Party member for continuation of the tradition...

A 'Party Journal' detailing resources/treasure/contacts/clues/maps etc, might be the responsibility of the Party Leader, or whomever is in charge of the current expedition, or perhaps it is passed to each Character in turn, each session or so, giving each Player a chance to put their own spin on records of Encounters, include personal remarks, take up running gags...

Party monetary fortunes could be depleted/augmented through experiences of publishing failure/success, post-quest?!  "No one is buying 'Lord Kelder and the Tomb on the Moon' dammit!"

What if... nefarious forces acquire the Party Record?  What if that Fireball took out our Rogue AND all our paperwork?

Personal/Party record books might have mechanical locks, maybe special Magical wards or glyphs, like Spellbooks.  A Magic "Password"?  Journal as Magic Item; transcribes/draws spoken words to endless scroll instantaneously... Spirit Book; Possessed by Psyche of long-dead Bard/Sage/Playwright, of Haughty/Critical/Sarcastic/Melodramatic disposition, writes with ghost quill...

In game, Journal entries could be oral, spoken in character during play, or "written" in a leathery tome... but could also written for reals by the Players & DM - a collection of short e-mail synopses penned by the participants, and organized in a word file, or even a ragged pile of post-its in a cardboard folder, would both be fun to collect and look back upon after concluding an Adventure.

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