Saturday, November 27, 2010

Genesis Journal #10 - Thinking About Numbers

I have been playing a lot with numbers lately. This may sound very odd, but, I guarentee that everyone thinks about numbers in some respect when it comes to playing D&D or just about any game in general.

However, I am not talking about math. I am not even talking about numbers from a combat standpoint. What I have been thinking about is the impact numbers can have in your campaign and what images, impressions, or power those numbers might have on your players.

For example, since I brought up the Dragonmarked houses from Eberron in a recent post, let us take a look at their number: 12! A very important number: Jesus had 12 disciples, there are 12 months, the 12 zodiac signs, all very important 12's.

It doesn't stop there though. Just about every number (at least up through the teens) has a substantial ammount of literary work/historical precedence from which your mind may be drawn to if you start to homebrew with it.

1 - the loneliest number that you will ever see, that ring
2 - only a little better than 1, a pair, twins, etc.
3 - the holy trinity, a crowd
4 - the directions on a compus, zelda: 4 swords.
5 - L5R, the five rings, etc.
6 - (actually having trouble thinking of anything off the top of my head)
7 - the lucky number, the number of clans in L5R, Jesus's favorite number
8 - the number of Bhuddhist Protectors which guard the 12 beasts of the zodiac
9 - ring wraiths

the list just keeps going and going and going.
I think it actually is a really important decision when making a story to think about numbers this way. I want to leave an impression on my players and the people that read my work, so I actually give this a lot of thought. Am I going crazy, or do other people think this way too?

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