Monday, October 04, 2010

Senses Working Overtime

As I prepare for next Saturday's Knights of the Astral Sea game, I am making use of some of the techniques present in Apocalypse World. One of the guiding principles of that game is to "barf forth apocalyptica" and that sounds like a good place to start. I'm going to make a concerted effort to do a better job evoking the game's setting and tone with choice details from all five senses. And by setting, I mean an alternate England in the winter of 1589 where Elizebeth was assassinated just prior to colonization by an extra-dimensional Britannic Empire. That Empire is now in tatters after the destruction of its Homeworld and a crazed regent has embarked on a reign of terror while foreign armies burn their way across the frozen countryside.

Here is a list that plan on keeping handy during the session.

Sight SoundSmell/TasteTouch
Whiteness of the snowHowl of a wolfStench of sewage in townBiting cold
Barren trees/empty fieldsFighting dogsCold, earthy smell of countrysideWarmth of the hearth
Tudor-era buildings juxtaposed with modern colonial architectureRooms going quiet as the PCs enterSmoke (hearth-fires and distant pillage)Bedbugs
Somber dress of locals juxtaposed with anachronistic colonialsHushed whispersSmell of diesel and occasional oil refinery (products of colonial industry)Slush and slop
Ramshackle soldiersOccasional woman's screamRevolting foodTouches of supernatural alarm (neck hairs rising)
Airships and balloons (usually from a distance)Roosters and other farm animalsTobacco smokeJostle of a carriage
Black smokeClop-clop of horses Oily lanternsUncomfortable furniture
Hanging corpsesWhistling windSmell of gunpowderSlippery cobblestones
RavensQuiet stillness of winterManurePersistent damp
RatsThrum of engines and propellers aboard shipBody odorLoose floorboards

And now for a little XTC:

4 comments:

Christian said...

Great table, great song. Well done!

sirlarkins said...

This is a great idea. I've been thinking just recently about punching up my sensory descriptions. Think I'll try this out next session!

Trey said...

That's a cool table. I may just have to steal that idea.

Brunomac said...

Just last weekend I was hanging out with the lady who plays Elizabeth at the Northern Ren Faire I'm doing for a couple more weekends. I love the alien assassination idea. I wonder if they would let me work it in to their stage show?