Sunday, April 20, 2014

Idea Sparks - Military Units

OK - I often describe myself as being an idea man. By this I mean that I can typically develop a ton of ideas in a short period of time. I can develop a “100” supplement (100 Towns, 100 Professions, 100 Bar Drinks, Gods & Demons) in a day, though it takes me a ton of time to finalize, edit and format it. I assume this is a combination of my ADHD and imagination, but I think most people who are drawn to being game masters have similar traits.

But even though I can typically come up with a huge number of ideas, I often try to find a device that will help me. Here’s my most recent one: I need to establish more of Fletnern’s military units, both regular army and mercenary. So here’s what I’m doing - I’m using school mascots. A unit is nothing without a cool symbol, so while I can come up with all manner of military units, I want cool mascots and symbols to give them some life. Here’s what I mean:

There is a particular school that I don’t like, but has a fantastic defense line. So these guys are going to be heavily armored and shield users, probably less than others with their spears and having a red “wave” as their symbol.

Their rivals I like even less, but they are still a decent team. I don’t like them, so I am going to characterize them as being stupid and bullies, a dangerous combination in armed men. They are the tigers, so they will use a tiger on their emblem, and have striped patterns of steel and bronze on their shoulders, but their officers keep a small eagle as a pet. Not sure why, but I’m going to give them split armor (plate mail chest and shoulders, chain mail arms and legs). I’m going to give them swords (sort of gladius/leaf blades) and spiked bucklers.

There’s a pro team in a port city named for a sea mammal. My perception is that they have never been very good, but they’ve had some good QBs, so I’m going to make them a poorly disciplined unit with good officers. I’m going to give them fins on the top of their helmets to represent their mascot. Let’s give them battle tridents, all the better to keep the enemy away from the greener troops.

I don’t enjoy basketball, so taking the team from a city I hate, let’s make them bandits. I assume they’re all felons anyway. But they’re named after a car part. How do I use that? Let’s go with horseshoes. They use a horse as their symbol and actually sew horseshoes onto their leather gloves, where the iron will lead when they punch with their fists. Nasty, tattooed criminals quick to take advantage of anyone, dressed in horsehide leather armor.

I’m going to just keep going. I have college teams, pro teams, at least four sports to leverage - more than enough ideas to generate dozens of military units, if not a new 100 list. I can generate general personalities/cultures, general gear specs, and mascots/colors. What can you do with a start like this?

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