t all started with a threat of riskware.
Since I’ve started roleplaying again, pretty much every week involves me trying to come up with a continuing storyline for players who might reject a carefully constructed plotline and go helling off across our imaginary landscape. After all, our Solaris game is science fiction and a new change of scenery is only as far as the nearest docking port.
So I found this website that generated all sorts of things: names, taverns, spaceships, gangs, a massive collection of randomness. Some of the names (based off nationalities, which is a big part of the solar-systemed Solaris campaign) were mouthfuls, but it all worked well enough. They would walk into a tavern named… a few seconds pause… the “Oaken Beam”. And they would see… pause… “a couple of Scottish rock miners”. Yeah, it worked well enough.
That is, until last week, when suddenly my malware software started throwing a warning that this site was identified as a potential for riskware.
At first I ignored it, hoped for the best. But as the session went on, I began to worry more and more that my computer was suddenly going to get infected. As the players, floating just outside the sealed blast door of the space station’s hiding dragoons with an unconscious nobleman they’d been paid to escort here, I came to my own realization and shut down the page. I originally reffed through high school, college and afterwards. My games were a weekly event, all filled with imagination, twists and turns. And with Solaris, I’m on my own territory and not running in the ruts of candy-ass StarWars. I’m a creative guy. So I closed the site and did what I do best – I started making things up again. Bars, ships, criminals, all of them came with names that popped in through my imagination. I don’t need a crutch.
Well, I do for occasional names – when you bump into a one-armed welsh prostitute, I still need a good name. But regional name generators are a dime a dozen.
So, the play is the thing, and imagination is king.
Next week, we’ll see how our players deal with a little gang warfare…