Shops and learnings

Bit of a bodge together post this.
Two things I’ve been thinking about of late are markets/shops for the barony that was (and may still exist) and things that I learnt and went well this chronicle.

So shops, markets and stalls are kind of one of the interesting points of a lost setting, and they come from all sorts of places be they Rossetti and the poem “goblin market” or more Stardust’s market place through to strange ramshackle shops tucked away in backstreets or similar that delve into the hedge itself.

Cambridge had a little from column A and a bit more from column B, inspired by the number of little alley like streets in town with small shops tucked away selling books or cheeses and so forth.

I have a few in mind but one example of these is further out of town, found by going down a winding street off the popular Mill Road. It looks like a beat up possibly long closed shop that on the outside proclaims itself to be “The Blank Tape Shop”.
On the right days at the right times as shown by a yellowing note in the window the door actually opens and inside one can indeed buy blank tapes. But venture further back into the shop and things get stranger, there are tables upon which are old cardboard boxes full of papers, lists, things once whispered to conspirators or lovers, or what you wanted for dinner last week. It has the look of an old second hand comic or record shop but what is on offer are secrets and memories a record of things mundane to the strange, to browse or to buy.

Okay things that I’ve learnt this chronicle.

1) buddy up PCs with NPCs and make players want a stake in their lives and to care about them. Some of these NPCs I inherited from Luke others were my creation but having NPCs that a PC wanted as a friend or dependent and who got into scrapes and needed help or dragged the PC down into their issues or who just went on adventures with the PCs , in my opinion added to the game. It helped me bring plots in, gave PCs personal plot and meant at least one person in the room knew who I meant when I played someone.

– Improvement for me would be to costume better for npcs

2) people don’t always downtime but people do seem to like what I call reverse downtimes where as an ST I send players snippets or overviews of what happens in the month and seed out plot elements to them all with an on going proviso that they can ignore it or change it should they desire. I can be a bit scripted but hopefully people know that I’m serious about meaning that they can change whatever doesn’t suit them. Storytelling should be collaborative and sometimes my small scripts can start that off sometimes I can be a bit restrictive (unwittingly) but on the whole I think they encourage downtimes, remind people about the game and give people goals and things to talk about at the start of games.

– improvement for me would be to try and hit all players with these where I can and where it was liked.

What sort of things have people enjoyed/want to see more of?
Also what would you like to see?

I’d like to hear any constructive criticism (preferably sandwiched between some praise) and ideas of what you might like going forward.
Email privately if you like.

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