Campaign Rules: The Practice Effect

[from John Hills]


While cycling to work this morning, thinking how Autumnal the weather had turned, I remembered a book that I read many years ago -- funny how often I say that these days....

It was The Practice Effect, by David Brin.

It featured a character who was sent through a time/space portal to see what was there. He found a strange land where there was no technology, but a wierd new law of physics: Objects that are used for a certain purpose regularly become 'practiced' and get better at it.

A few examples:

Well used roads had developed a tarmac-like surface and self-lubricating grooves for the trails of drag-carts that where used on them.

The hero's needle gun developed into a high powered blaster as he used it for hunting.

People were employed to wear armour and hit each other with weapons, impoving both items at the same time.

Badly made kites with cross-bars of wood loosely nailed to the front could be practiced into the equivalent of a Fokker Monoplane.

Wattle and daub walls were regularly beaten with hammers, turning them into concrete fortifications.

I am sure you are getting the idea by now. It occurred to me that this would be a great place for an FR! campaign.

Perhaps Contraptions could be practiced into Battlewagons. Or battlewagons that go over cliffs into flying battlewagons (if they survive!).

Copyright © 1999 by Samuel Reynolds. All rights reserved. Last modified 1998/11/10.
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