You’ve probably seen this dragon slaying ad circulating around the internet. It ran in the classified section of the Oklahoman newspaper on December 1st. While some theories believe it as a prank or a joke, and some theories say it is probably a coded message about a drug deal, they are all missing the best thing about this ad – it’s a great hook and prop for a role-playing game.
One of the things we often talk about in regards to gaming is the immersion level of the game. How much the players are engaged and feel that the things they do matter. How into the game world they are. Using things like headlines or ads from newspapers to help bridge the reality of the game world and actual reality are great ways to enhance immersion.
But, depending on your game, you might not get things that are as appropriate as our dragon slayer ad when you need them. (Although, wouldn’t this be a great introduction to a modern game where the PCs find out the supernatural is real?) So, if you find yourself needing to make headlines, you could always try one of many newspaper headline generators. Or, you can try this little trick:
Open up the webpage you want to edit, then paste this line of code into the URL bar.
That makes the local (and only the local) copy of the website editable. You can then type, delete, replace, and drag images into the website, enabling you to make an adequately convincing fake, like this one:
Pop on over to the New York Times website and see if this screenshot doesn’t look incredibly convincing. Now, you can’t save this edited version, but you can replace the URL to it’s original location (Left click in the url bar and hit ESC, this resets the URL. But don’t hit enter again or it will reload the non-edited page) and then flip your laptop for the players to see. Or you can take a print screen and display this to the players as well. Just replacing the URL after you’ve edited will make it look more realistic though, but it will still be in edit mode.
Doing this can help you get a smidge more immersion in your games, and you don’t have to be an expert at web coding or photoshop to do it. Just type and change. Do you have any other ways you create headlines or in-game props? What other tools or tricks do you use to make in-world props or provide immersive interaction in your game?