Bringing in the imagery and emotion

edited March 2012 in Story Games
I've been working on a sort of introduction for new players in Tekumel. I've been focusing on what it's like to be a Tsolyani, in terms of culture and attitudes, and what the physical environment and indeed what the characters might look like. This has gone pretty well, and I'm happy with what I have so far. The point here is to have something I can hand to people who have never played in this setting, to quickly give them a sense of how their characters see the world.

Reading over the 13 pages I have, it occurs to me that while I can "see" what things look like, new players can't. Also, there are certain emotional sorts of vibes that should be present in the setting, which may not be obvious. By this I mean emotional reactions to the setting itself, on the part of the players, not the PCs, if that makes sense. Think movie trailer, and you'll get the idea, like when you see a light saber in a Star Wars trailer, that thrill, ya know?

Anyway...I'm struggling to find a way, in text, to have that come across. I've considered using art or photos, but it's hard to find ones with just the right feel. Music seems like a good approach, as in "go listen to this". But thre are probably other techniques. I've been writing little vignettes too. That seems to work as well.

What other techniques can anyone think of? Not Tekumel specific. In general.

Comments

  • edited March 2012
    1. Yes, use pictures or music (Google the adjectives you want)

    2. Do it fast. Spending too long describing stuff means the players are not making decisions which means they are not actually playing, just listening.

    3. Reinforce the mood constantly through responses to PC actions rather than by front-loading. One old Tekumel hand said "Just make sure at some point in the first few minutes of the scenario, an NPC is impolite and gets killed for it".
  • Gotcha, and I neglected to mention that this is something that will be made available before a game, as a link from a game description for a con. So this is meant to be In part "why might you want to play in this game?" material, as well as reference.
  • edited March 2012
    Posted By: malcolmpdxGotcha, and I neglected to mention that this is something that will be made available before a game, as a link from a game description for a con. So this is meant to be In part "why might you want to play in this game?" material, as well as reference.
    I think a lotta pictures. A lot. Words already require buy-in.

    Or try the 25-words or less approach, here's Noisms' perfect description of Yoon-Suin:

    Tibet, yak ghosts, ogre magi, mangroves, Nepal, Arabian Nights, Sorcery!, Bengal, invertebrates, topaz, squid men, slug people, opiates, slavery, human sacrifice, dark gods, malaise, magic.
  • edited March 2012
    Poetry! Seriously; try to think as a poet, and work your words in another way; create metaphors on emotions, and turn it all into the song* belonging to the language and tradition of the Tsolyani. And make it short! If directed at players, no more than one page is effective; let them have it in essence, to explore and bring alive by themselves, in game-play.

    A sense of wonder is hard to create, but very nice for players to have when going into a new world ...

    * "The song" as in how the Tsolyani thinks and feels about the world, and how their voices make the sounds of their language.
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