With the summer in full swing, our progress is a little bit slower than usual, though we are still progressing steadily. D20 might see its first version next week and Brend has been hard at work on the Schema editing — both of these are major features so finishing them will be a huge step. While we continue to work hard on these, the season also warrants taking a little bit of time to relax and perhaps visit some place you don’t normally go and I suspect some of you reading this will already have holiday plans — or you might even be reading this from your vacation destination.
But have your characters ever taken a holiday?
Whether risking their lives to save the innocent princess or working hard to acquire a fortune in the cut throat world of interplanetary smuggling, your characters need — every once in a while — some time to blow off steam and relax. For some that might mean visiting the pleasure planet of Risa, for others it might mean a meditative retreat at the local monastery, or even taking a trip to the capital city to gamble with their ill gotten gains. These kinds of activities are often used as “downtime filler”, when the story skips ahead some time and everyone gives a short description of what their character did during the time. But it could be so much more!
If players agree, such a holiday could be a fun activity to roleplay in detail. Visiting amazing locations without the pressure of imminent death might give characters a chance to explore the setting and flesh out their characters. It might provide an opportunity for them to bond as a party, especially if they are from different walks of life and with different goals and ideas, so they can explore — and settle — their differences.
Of course, as a storyteller, you know best what type of game your players enjoy. If your party is a particularly combat oriented one, it might not be the right choice to put them in a resort and have mani’s and pedi’s — but if that resort also held a tournament where the world best warriors came to measure themselves against one another, that might be right up their alley, and offer a different tactical challenge as the opponents will be trying to beat rather than kill you. Likewise, if your party is particularly excited by puzzles, the hot springs might feature strange ancient statues with markings that none of the locals have managed to figure out yet. Who knows what hidden passageways they might reveal if aligned in the right way!
And regardless of the details, an environment of relaxation and fun will go a long way not just to put characters at ease with one another, but also to provide a contrast to the dangers of other, more serious adventures.
Have you ever taken your PC on a holiday? What was it like, and what happened? Why not check out the changelog and let us know in the forum!