On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From December 16, 2009, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: What Do PCs Do For Fun?
Adventuring is hard work. You’re always putting your life on the line for fame and fortune. But what do you do when you’ve got some down time? How do PCs relax and unwind? We’ve given it some thought and present a few options for your consideration.
Organized Athletic Competition
Whether you choose to participate or just sit back and watch others, organized sports are exciting.
The most common sports are those that rely on strength, skill and stamina. Different cultures will have their own variations that address racial advantages. But when it comes right down to it football is still football whether it’s Halflings, Bugbears or Humans playing.
There are also various types of individual competitions designed to determine the best of the best. Olympic-style games might include archery, fencing, jousting and other weapon-related challenges. Even simple competitions like who can lift the heaviest object or who can run the fastest have always been a great way for athletes to compete.
Until the Wizard Zworykin creates a magic box small enough to fit in your home and capable of generating illusions depicting everyday situations, most people need to go to the theater to watch a show.
If you’re looking for live performances you may head to the theater to take in a play, watch a series of sketches performed by a local comedy troupe in the park, or perhaps just laugh yourself silly as you overhear a Bard telling dirty jokes in the pub.
If you enjoy music your choices vary from attending the symphony or opera with the upper echelon of society, to catching a local band at your neighbourhood tavern, or even just enjoying the soulful performance of a struggling street performer singing for her supper.
There’s also various forms of dancing that are enjoyable to try or just watch in awe as professional dancers amaze you with their flexibility and grace.
And of course we can’t forget magic shows. Depending on your taste you may prefer the kind that relies on slight of hand and misdirection to those that actually employ the arcane arts.
In a world with so many incredible creatures and places the most entertaining performances may be the ones that are as simple as an adventurer telling antic dotes from his own life. Depending on how much the audience is enjoying the show the details may start to blur the lines between true and false, but if it’s a good story does it really matter?
The most popular and common games use dice, cards or both. These are often popular across social boundaries since they are easy to learn and convenient to play. All you need are a few dice or a deck of cards.
Group games like charades are great for large gatherings that consist of people of all ages. Since these games are more about having fun than actually being good it makes them easy and enjoyable for everyone regardless of race, age or social standing.
Trivia games about geography, history or monsters lets those with intellectual prowess compete against those with life experience.
Board games like chess have existed for centuries. Surely your campaign world has something akin to the game of kings. Acquiring a rare set may be a good hook for a future adventure.
In a literate society books are likely common and readily available for all. Since writing and mass producing new books is a time consuming process, recovering old books may be the easiest and fastest way to find new stories. PCs may loot ancient dungeons and discover lost works of fiction or they may plunder a manner form some far off land only to return with stories no one has ever heard before. Never underestimate the value of a regular book.
Many of the competitions described above are more exciting when there’s money on the line. In some cases the betting may be encouraged and organized by the very group responsible for putting together the competition. In other cases it may be a more informal custom done in secret.
Although most gaming groups tend to avoid role-play sexual encounters (since it can get really creepy really fast) it can’t be overlooked as one more way in which people of your campaign world have fun during their down time.
Too Much Fun
Now that we’ve given you all these suggestions for how to have fun, it’s up to you to decide which (if any) of these your PC will partake in during his down time. This list is certainly not all encompassing, but it’s a good start. So the next time your PCs have some time between adventures give some thought to how they might enjoy themselves before they put their armor back on and head off to slay the next dragon.