How do you make an adventure feel comfy? By comfy I mean that it has a certain feel to it, that makes even downtime an enjoyable experience and not just the period where you load up on new gear and potions in preparation for the next adventure.
They say home is where the heart is, so perhaps there's some merit in making the "main" city of the setting feel cozy, but how would you do that? By having that one tavern that has really good beer? The friendly barwench that always flirts with the paladin? The salesman who is always willing to go the extra mile to find obscure wares on request of the PCs? Having the bard's mother come over once in a while to bake cookies and tell embarassing stories about the bard's childhood? Or is it something that's entirely dependent on the willingness of the PCs to make the game comfy and something the DM cannot directly influence?
It involves both a feeling of security and PCs actually putting down roots and not being total murderhoboes. It's not even something a Paladin or Cleric will feel at the heart of his fortress stronghold, nor will the Wizard in his tower. It's that thought that nothing could possibly happen here, far removed from any battlefront, and that it's safe here.
For someone who intends to obtain disproportionate power by kicking in the doors of Team Monster and looting their pad for cool swag, it's kinda dangerous.
The most important thing is making something feel like "home". In a Christmas themed setting I had, I did this by having all people in the starting town know and greet them, and invite them to come in and drink and stuff.
Also important is the "home" being way better. For example, if all of the country is frozen wasteland with storms and shit, it helps a ton if the hometown is completely decorated with cozy lights and fires burning everywhere to keep everyone warm.
A "comfy" RP will feel safe and welcoming... almost like a cartoon. Even when the fate of the world is at stake, it won't carry the tension or emotional highs of the characters actually being afraid of failure, it won't address the horrible futures that could happen if the party fails, it won't focus on or even bring up the darker sides of humanity or reality as a whole.
Basically what you're looking for is a slice-of-life game. Better off just cutting out the adventure part and letting the players be school girls dealing with things like crushes and tests...
before they become Magical Girls and get torn apart by an uncaring reality that they're now responsible for protecting, because if /a/ is to be believed, Madoka Magica is the greatest thing that ever happened to anime >__>
>Basically what you're looking for is a slice-of-life game.
While that sounds fun, even a highly adventurous game imho needs a "slice of life" area where everyone can just roleplay, live a normal life and do things that don't have the entire world at stake. Roleplay means taking on the dark lord, but it also means just getting a beer with your buddies.
That's why my settings normally have a place like this, somewhere the players will return often and just relax in. In the current game I'm running it's one of the outposts of the big mercenary company they work for, it's basically a small fortress with all the basic shit they could need and filled with various NPCs they can chill with, from the librarian/waifubait eladrin to the stoner drow wizard to the barbarian-ish warforged to the father-figure totally not a vampire who is their boss. It's just a generally comfy place, they throw parties and shit too and at one the blackguard may have accidentally screwed a man.
A "home" is a definitive necessity to achieve the proper sense of comfort. I don't have a psychology degree or anything, but I'm pretty sure that the concept of having a place to return to is something deeply ingrained into the human psyche with only a few exceptions.
How to go about making it however is something that you need to actively tailor to your players, but I've found that usually a place they've come over on their own is usually a safe bet.
Trick question, you don't.
Adventuring is a dangerous occupation reserved for the desperate and the foolhardy.
>Madoka Magica is the greatest thing that ever happened to anime >__>
That's bullshit. Everyone knows that Full Metal Alchemist Botherhood is the greatest thing ever that happened to anime.
I'd say it's somewhat dependent on the players, but unless your players are full randumbs or murderhobos, you can probably entice them into it, assuming you're not the kind of jackass GM who gives players friends and families just to kill them all as a cheap tactic to increase drama. Do that too many times, and the PCs will simply stop giving a shit.
NPCs are a big point for comfiness. A waifu is one way, but that has its own problems. Charmingly goofy people who sometimes give a tangible benefit to the PCs for helping them can win the party's hearts pretty easily. As for setting, maybe a smallish village, rather than a city, ideally up north-few things cast comfiness into sharp relief like cold and snow.
Current game we're playing definitely has that feel. The DM manages to pace it pretty well between one session being action or combat oriented, one session being simple everyday living and character/NPC interaction oriented, and alternating between them. In the context of the setting it kind of works I guess.
Like over the holidays, only me and one other player were available, so the DM had us do an in-game new years session, which was more or less our two characters trying to find a way to pass the time together when most of town was closed down, and ending up getting to know one another better and spending new years together in my characters apartment. At least half the session was in just the one small apartment but with the right mood it was probably the comfiest session I've played of any game.
It also helps that out of game, there's a friend of the DM's who doesn't really play, but does stuff like have appropriate music playing, set the lights right, bake us cookies and brownies and get us drinks and stuff, wrap us in blankets, etc...
Introduce slice of life themes like the mundane neighbor dealing with mundane problems, the feral cats having it out in the alley at night, the mailman having a personality while delivering the bills. Have this separate from the adventures of the party and only use it for hooks when it is well established and normal.
Be personal. Involve the players. Give them drama, power, tension, whatever they want most each, on a small scale.
Use callbacks and running gags. Whatever gets a reaction, do it again next time with a slight variation. Follow the rule of threes and introduce a big variation the 4th time around. If the players still react to it then it becomes its own little side story. And if that has gathered momentum as flavoring and is perceived as normality by the players, spin it into a plot hook. Or don't, some C-plots remain C-plot.
Give the players power over their domain. Let them personalize their home, and let them shape events in their community. Polarize, but keep the scope small. Take small stuff they say and do, and use it to build the background. Like if they sell loot weps to the same smith or trader more than twice, have him specialize in reselling their loot. Or if they have a conversation with a townie make the topic a big division in the community when the heroes return.
And make the small problems harder to solve than the big ones. It can fester, at worst people will stop talking to each other, if you turn it into murder then you make it the main story. Don't. Instead use it to present moral dilemmas. And make sure everyone watches how the PCs react every time.
Basically what you're looking for is a slice-of-life game. Better off just cutting out the adventure part and letting the players be school girls dealing with things like crushes and tests...before they become Magical Girls and get torn apart by an uncaring reality that they're now responsible for protecting, because if /a/ is to be believed, Madoka Magica is the greatest thing that ever happened to anime >__>
You are fucking retarded. Go back to /r/anime or whatever scumhole you came from.
I wouldn't know, we're playing dark heresy. We're overworked, short staffed and under equipped, there is a potential daemon incursion brewing, local lord inquisitor is a heretic, there is a suspected traitor in the retinue and necrons riding across the sector. I don't here time for that shit
The #1 thing I've learned about comfy is safety and security.
You need both a safe place which is virtually untouchable (barring the no-holds-barred final story arc) and a figure which they deem to be untouchable. Like a physical manifestation of a God/Goddess.
On top of a place of safety, some humor is good too. A skilled but slightly bumbling offical, a foppish but golden-hearted noble, a stuttering but loyal squire - NPCs the PCs will remember. It can also take the edge off of a really grimdark campaign. Imagine a Dark Heresy game with a Tzeentch cult that's still working towards personal choice after years of unquestioning office work.
It also helps to keep the PCs a little weak or low level, so they have a reason to need a place to call home for protection and supplies. A high fantasy or space opera sort of game works best for this, since lines are more clearly drawn with less threat of backstabbery.
And though good characters work best, evil characters can earn mein kampf as well. Just replace bumbling helpers with dull and amusing minions, and encourage a rather campy evil.
Base all your adventures around a town or city. Name the NPC's and use the names consistently (Norm the Blacksmith, Greg the Tanner, Helga the Fishwife). Sidequest the shit out of everything; dole out exp for helping fix the well or reinforcing the town walls or helping Earl the Permavirgin finally score.
Award characters houses/apartments in the town for saving it early on and make it a base of operations. Populate the area around the town with old tombs and shit so they can go exploring. Have threats be recurring and persona; (that orc chief you killed a while back now has a son out for revenge).
Players care more about rats in the inn cellar when it's the inn their characters go to after every dungeon for beer. Saving the local lord's heir is more pressing when the local lord is generally a pretty cool guy. Create a home for your players and they'll start to want to protect it.
Sounds like it's something that can only work in low power systems. Just imagine doing this in D&D past level 10 or so. Bob the Innkeeper apologizes for not being able to serve the PCs their drinks of choice, because his cellar has been infested by Grogatur the demon lord, destroyer of worlds and bringer of the end?
Comfy comes from being laid back, character driven and lighthearted. So instead of trying to rush things or making a massive BBEG, just let the players pick things they want to mess around with and let them have a chance to build banter with each other. Don't sweat potential metagame or 4th wall breaking stuff. Have your NPCS be fun and maybe a little goofy; a vain vampire who is annoyed that they can't see themselves in a mirror, a Druid who treats his animal companion as his only friend and talks to it, while the AC acts as a straight man, Kobold and Orcs who kidnap women because they want to learn how to bake and cook instead of rape, etc.
Also, you can OOC comfy by having a nice, comfy place to game and shoot the shit. Hearty food and booze are a plus.
>Kobold and Orcs who kidnap women because they want to learn how to bake and cook instead of rape
You absolute madman, I love this idea! Mind if I steal it?
I can't really contribute anything that other more eloquent anons have already said, so I offer up to the thread this cozy little house.
My players frequently have at least one character with some sort of cooking skill. Makes each rest just that little bit warmer when the half-orc paladin cooks a stew in a cave in the frozen tundra.
I really like the idea of the PCs having a hometown or safe harbor that they either have to defend or go out from to seek adventure
It might be fun to have them going out in the dangerous world to look for resources for their little town, and grateful townspeople (and rewards) as an incentive to come back
You gotta ask, what is comfy? Because it's hard to stable down what everyone in your group will find comfortable.
A good rule of thumb is nostalgia. Anything that's a little old-fashioned, or can be associated with an anon's childhood, is usually a safe bet. Take Baldur's Gate and how it handled the Sword Coast. It might be a bit cheesy now, but a lot of the towns and taverns were in that comfortably 90s sort of fantasy - just cliche enough to be comfortable, not too old fashioned to be unfamiliar, and not too new to be too overdone.
>killing the orc chief
>not sending him limping back home covered in bruises
>so that he can later show up, banging on the town's gate, demanding that you open up so that he can pillage you
Do you even comfy?
To me at least comfy isn't a sense of security but instead a sense of progress and development. A sense that you are creating something lasting and beyond yourself that involves a lively community of people you care about.
Think Mouseguard. The little dudes face horrible danger. They're small and surrounded by big things that want to kill them. But they go beyond survival. They thrive and create a society.
That's comfy. Knowing that the Guard is protecting something worth protecting.
Moviemakers really like Mont St. Michel, huh?
How do you comfy in superhero game?
I mean sure, they have that big letter-shaped tower or whatever.
But when they're in it, they are in costume, they are on the job. They must remain vigilant and ready to roll out.
They are also in the eye of the world, including the villains. They are essentially hanging themselves as bait for the attack because that's better than risking civilian areas.
How do you make those guys comfy?
What if they actually live in that tower, like some kind of dormotory? What if that tower also has a bar, a spa, a mini-cinema, a game room etc.?
This could actually make some of the villain fights personal. Not only is that fucker destroying the city, but he also interrupted the best game of Risk you've had in years. Of course, this means war.
I'm thinking of something somewhat like the Continental Hotel from John Wick (nothing to do with the game designer, having his dog killed might explain his dickery though), though I'm not entirely sure it's quite the right fit.
Basically the Continental Hotel is criminal Switzerland, that issues special coins for its services. A coin can get you a body disposed without a trace, a check up from a mob doctor with actual credentials, an entrance to their damn good basement club, or some fine laundry. The main ticket to the continental, however, is a coin can gets you a room for a day, and the continental guarantees no "business" to be done on its grounds.
Perhaps a religious sanctuary, a mage university or a guild with sufficient leverage could operate an establishment unhindered by local government to aid in freelance violence for altruistic purposes. A cleric on staff sworn to keep business between them and their god. A network of merchants and dungeon delvers to acquire the finest weird wares for purchase, and a couple artifacts of significance in the vault snatched up long before their significance is due, as well as friendly waiter/esses and exotic drinks and food to help you forget the things you witnessed when you went down too far, as well as the word's best bouncer at the door, ready to "talk some sense" into the fledgeling journeymen who think they're hot shit.
Come to think of it it also sounds a little like a wooden Mother Base.
Some kind of roster? Have the new guys handle work and school nights under the eye of a stereotypical mentor figure and leave the ever so tough weekends and especially public holidays to the empowered and the experienced? It'd be an interesting angle to try and convince the new ones to ignore the criminal goings on and relax, as the world needs them to be at their peak.
Supers boarding school is one option.
Junior league is another.
These get the principles of comfyness noted above in thread.
Or perhaps add it to my vague ideas of jacking Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain and add extra focus on chillaxing in the lair.