Five neat custom mask tricks

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With no new features to announce this week, we wanted to take a moment to talk about masks, which have been used by most players to post with their character in a forum roleplay. Storytellers also use custom masks to post with an NPC from the setting, quickly copying their name and image from the setting to use (and reuse) during the roleplay, making it much clearer who the players are talking to.

However, there is more to masks than that! Here are five other ways to use custom masks to enhance your game, both as a storyteller and as a player!

1: Disguises

Storytellers aren’t the only ones able to use custom masks — players can use them when their character is wearing a disguise, easily reminding both other players and the storyteller that they are not appearing as they normally would. Disguises can vary from a covered face, hidden behind a veil, to a full on polymorph into an entirely different creature!

2: Location visualization

Often, players will enter new locations which requires a description. When posting the description, why not post it as if it were the room being described? A beautiful vista found after climbing a mountain probably deserves a full image in the post itself, but the local cantina may benefit from using an image of the location as a mask when describing it so as to help help communicate the feel of the place without requiring an exact representation and perfect details.

3: Minor NPCs

During the course of a game, most storytellers use minor NPCs, from the merchant selling spacesuits to the bartender at the next tavern. These NPCs don’t necessarily need their own wiki page, but adding a picture and a generic name like “Spacesuit Merchant” or “Bartender” can help bring these minor characters to life. It is usually not that hard to find a semi-suitable image and for these minor NPCs that is more than good enough. Using this consistently also allows a storyteller to hide a major NPC in the guise of a minor one — the reveal will be all the greater once the heroes realise that unintimidating spacesuit merchant is actually the villain behind the plot!

4: Pets

Players can use masks to post actions performed by their pets, including animal companions, mounts, droids they own, etc. Depending on the storyteller and campaign, players might even control their characters’ relatives or friends, or take control of a minor NPC in a scene their character is not otherwise involved in, which helps lighten the burden on the Storyteller.

5: Objects / Puzzles

Sometimes players encounter puzzles or similar obstacles, be it a locked door, an ancient idol on a pedestal which is sure to be trapped, or a computer prompt. Though those aren’t NPCs, players will be interacting with them, and a storyteller can enhance the experience by using an appropriate image and mask to represent these objects in the posts dealing with that interaction.

Many other uses are possible, of course and we’d love to see what uses for masks you have come up with! Why not tell us in the forums?