How to Fluff in Two Easy Steps!
|Schiffskanone bereit! Read on to find out how U-158 helped|
me create fluff for my Imperial Guard army ...
His posts focus a bit more on creating settings, factions and background from the ground up - making your own Space Marine chapter or Imperial Guard regiment, for example. So as not to tread on fluffy toes, this is more focussed on creating background for an existing army, so how to write up battle reports and campaigns in a 'fluffy' way.
Step One: Get the raw details
Anyone can write up an Imperial Guard service record or medal citation to go with your army's fluff - but it really means something when it's a medal citation for one of your men. To do this you need to be prepared to record some trivial details as they happen. I use a notepad and pen to jot down little titbits of information during the battles. So:
On turn four, Captain Nero charged the scout squad. There were two rounds of combat which Nero won, but he took a wound. If I hadn't paid the extra points for the power sword, the armour saves would probably have kept the scouts alive long enough to kill Nero!Nice and easy. You don't have to think about that too much.
Step Two: Translate 'nuggets' into fluff details
This is the hardest step as it's where all the imagination comes in. You need to take the little 'nuggets' of detail from your notes, and translate them into fluff terms. An example of what I mean would be:
If I hadn't paid the extra points for the power sword, the armour saves would probably have kept the scouts alive long enough to kill Nero!
As Nero's family power sword cut down the last enemy scout, he muttered a prayer of thanks to the Emperor while the shimmering blue field bit through the carapace armour.Basically, it's cutting out all the game words (points, armour saves) and replacing it with the fluffy equivalent. The above example is fairly straightforward, but the limit here is your imagination. I'm going to use a fairly detailed example to show how little the starting 'nugget' needs to be to inspire you.
I'm a fairly avid player of Silent Hunter III, the World War II submarine simulator. I decided to write a 'War Diary' for one of my missions, in the style and feel of a real WWII U-boat war diary. This involved a lot of translating the in-game events into 'fluff' for the log-book.
Here goes. I'd torpedoed and crippled a merchant ship, so then I surfaced to get the crew to use the submarine's deck gun to finish it off. I pressed 'S', to surface, then double-clicked on 'Man the Deck Guns' - but I hadn't realised how rough the sea was. The message flashed up on screen, "We cannot man the guns in rough waters, Herr Kaleun!" Woops.
But, this is where the imagination came in. What happened there? Well, the captain ordered the submarine to be surfaced, then the Watch Officer to man the guns. Unfortunately, he didn't realise how rough the sea was - so a little leap of imagination, and the relevant section of the log looks like this:
|The page of U-158's Kriegstagbuche, or War Diary. Incidentally, if you're interested in this project check out my SUBSIM page for more details on the project, and to read the whole thing!|
There we go! A nice 'fluffy' entry.
So that's what I do when I get nuggets of detail from my games. A failed morale check, is the 'nugget' for a sergeant who served in another war, and doesn't want to get his men killed and retreats during the next battle. A lucky 6 to wound is the 'nugget' for a trooper who spends his off-duty time studying charts of enemy physiology and weak spots, rather than drinking with the other men. You get the idea.
Most of my character's backgrounds come from nuggets like this. You can just make up a characters backgrounds, but I like for them to make it themselves - to earn their reputation, as it were. It doesn't have to stop there - the start points for some characters have been their poses, their colour scheme - even their expressions!
Hope you enjoyed that little glimpse into my fluff-creating world. I'm still away for the New Year but when I go back I've got a few exciting projects coming up ... I'll say no more.
Until next time!