I’ve made several fundamental changes to how the game engine works, usually to streamline things. One of the features which got changed the most was Exploits. This was for multiple reasons: abolishing inherent limitations of the old subsystem, difficulty in maintaining equity for opponents, and removing randomness.
Every game world needs notables and personalities. The former are big bads, and plot motivators. They are sometimes quest givers, but more often they shape events because they have plans. Most personalities are just there to add more to the setting. The key difference between the two is staying power. If the PCs can easily dispatch and never hear from again one of your non-player characters of great interest, then they are personalities. If it is harder to dispose of the character due to sheer strength, circumstance or plot related luck, the character is a notable.
The shadows of the secular world are not the only places one finds organizations bent on changing the world. Aside from many bonafide altruistic or neutral religions, ones that are either good for the people or the nation, or at least do no harm to those outside the religion, there are of course detrimental religions dedicated to chaos, nihilism, corruption and the acquisition of power for the religious group at the expense of everyone else. There are also causes which are not evil, but their interference can be seen as against the national interests of one or more countries, or civilization in general. Read the rest of this entry