Making Good Use of Space


Well, what the heck is this about? Why would I sit here and wax poetic about making good use of space? Well, it’s because honestly, a lot of GM’s don’t, and I’m going to be pretty serious about this.

On maps, people ignore basic stuff. When I publish an adventure, I make sure there are bathrooms, entrances, exits, and the like. I devote an excessive amount of time and space to these basic things. I know it sounds dumb, but far too often, people don’t really pay attention to these things.

In a fantasy game, make sure your castle has the requisite number of entrances and exits, including a couple of secret ones.

In a modern game, make sure that your maps obey fire safety codes. These things sound nuts, but they add an additional layer of realism without really costing you anything.

There are a number of reasons for this:

1) Villains need to escape to further the story. Nothing is worse than having to have a guy teleport away from your good guys just because he forgot to put in a back door. A lot of players hate villains who teleport away more than they hate eating foods they don’t like. A little detail like this will allow the players to say “Curses, he got away,” but does it in a way that’s far more mundane.

2) Entrance as well as exit. If someone can go out through the in door, they can go in through the out door.

3) Common Sense. This protects you from snarky players. If all of this is already built in, it’s not on you if your players ignore it, it’s on them, and they’ll be like…dang, I didn’t think of that.

Next time, we’ll talk about making use of terrain. That should be fun too.

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  • Upcoming Appearances

    Heroicon, Decatur, Illinois, May 15-17

    Michael will be appearing at Heroicon as a Special Guest, where he will run games and appear on panels. All proceeds from this convention go to benefit troops overseas with games, both donated and purchased, sponsored by a group called Games for Troops. I know it's a trek. Come join me anyway.

    Nexus Game Fair, Milwaukee, WI, June 25-28

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    Gencon, Indianapolis, IN, July 29-August 2.

    Michael will be attending Gencon and representing Blackwyrm Games, where his latest products will be playtested and he will have at least one signing.