Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lure of the Unknown

“The unknown” has a hypnotic lure. If you’re anything like me, then you started exploring the dark recesses of the closet the moment you were old enough to switch on a flashlight. After the closet came the basement, the attic, the garage, neighbors’ yards, the woods down the hill, and eventually the storm drains that carry runoff hundreds of yards beneath the streets through pitch black, echoing concrete pipes the perfect size for a 10-year-old to crouch in.

A world without secrets is a world that doesn’t need adventurers. It might need heroes to save it from some catastrophe or looming evil, but it doesn’t need explorers willing to strike out into the darkness with no guarantee that they’ll make it back home to the light or investigators driven to peel back layers of concealment and deceit from ancient horrors or modern crimes.

Let’s look briefly at three types of secrets that can be buried in a campaign: geographical, historical, and magical.

(Read the rest at Kobold Quarterly ...)

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