The Home base

Aka, Welcome to my volcanic lair!

Batman has the Batcave.
Superman has his fortress of solitude.
Deadpool has his appartment.
Wolverine has the X-men Mansion, despite roaming about and being a loner.
Robin hood has a glade in Sherwood forest.
Smaug ‘had’ Erebor. (Spoilers…)
Spawn has his alleyways.
Neo had that small ship in the first Matrix movie.
SG1 has the Cheyenne mountain complex.
The list goes on.

Regardless of your players wanting it or not (or even realize it), they will likely end up with a base of operations. A place to rest their heads and call home.  To sell their loot and buy their gear. Where they can gather information for their next mission, and store their hard earned currency etc. If only temporarily, before moving on to the next.

This could be anything from your typical inn or tavern, a district or even an entire city. A flying airship, an airplane or a star ship. A mansion, a castle, the local YMCA or their employers Volcanic Lair. (See Evil villain, fire lord or Red Dragon)
Hell, it could even be the RV from Breaking Bad.

NetDragon HQ in China.

Now, why is this beneficial? Well aside from the above mentioned perks of your players being able to spend their down time and even have a possible fortified position to depend on, you as a GM have the added benefit that you can actually integrate that place into your story and give your PC’s several incentives or plot hooks to work with. You can flesh out other personalities who inhabit that space/area or even go as far as giving that place a personality or a soul (See Bacons vid).

Where everyone knows your name.

For instance, perhaps the innkeeper could be the parties main quest giver. Why? Because he hears a lot of things at the bar, knows the people and their problems. Or he could even be a member of a resistance group and is employing the party in secret. This could also easily be the captain of your ship or the local mayor. All good excuses to set up an NPC to get your party on the quest train.

Keep in mind that it’s very easy to fall into the trap of simply not caring about it.  ‘Yeah whatever, you sell your gear, learn your spells, your stats are back to normal, etc. Moving on’

If ‘You’ (as a GM) don’t care about a location, why should your players?
This kind of attitude only brings about a missed opportunity and skimming over helpful tools to improve your game and input as a GM.

I highly advise giving your players something to actually do at their base or have them interact with recurring characters, so that your PC’s may feel a bond with the place they call home.

Perhaps their first missions are for the local populace. Maybe the rest of the crew of your star ship hold small get events on the holodeck where they play cards, gamble, drink and make merry. Which is a great time to get to know them better (and give you an excuse to ask them information or favors at a later time). Maybe one of the PC’s is dating the pretty barmaid at the tavern they are staying in. Perhaps the local Lord is quite fond of the party and they start to become friends.

All of this will provide a better atmosphere for your game and give your players the feeling that they actually did something that mattered when they saved the town from burning down. It gives them a reason to act besides wealth and other superficial things.

And if you’re running an Evil game, lording over the people you know can be quite more fun than ruling over a blank mass of generic faces. After all publicly disposing of your rival (the local lord) in front of his former court ( which you know by now and might have even won to your side) is all the sweeter than just getting a mark on your sheet.

In either case, you end up caring more about your actions and your PC.

Happy gaming!




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