Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On writing adventures.

Yay! A new post.

There are a variety of skills or abilities that one needs to have to be a good referee.

Organization is a big one, planning is another. I wouldn't say I was great at them, but I'm not completely useless either.

Handling NPCs is one of my strong suits; I've gotten comments on that.

But I don't have a whole lot of experience writing adventures. I've run some published adventures (and here's where the whole planning thing falls down, because there's usually something in there I missed...). But I haven't run a lot of my own scenarios.

(It was easy back in the day, when I ran Champions. I just threw a villain or villain team out there and let the heroes duke it out. Not very story-centric, I know, but my players loved it.)

If I'm going to get this Freedom in the Galaxy game off the ground, I'm going to need adventures.

So I'm throwing it out to you. Please leave a comment including your single best piece of advice for writing adventures. I can use all the help I can get!


Ragnorakk said...

I'm no expert, but - just put a bunch of ideas down on paper (or word processor screen). Don't try to elaborate them immediately, don't try too hard to connect them together at the start. Just blarg as much stuff out as quick as you can (drink two cups of strong coffee first maybe) - the idea is to put down a bunch of stuff and then figure out what is neat, what is nonsense, and what is neat nonsense.

Barking Alien said...

I must not be a great GM then. I haven't written an adventure is over 25 years and almost never use published adventures.

My best piece of advice on writing adventures is don't do it. It's a limiting concept for both you and your players.

Plan on being organized, have a general and logical overview of the region (be it national, world or galactic) you are playing in, drop clues, hints and leads to all many of cool and fantastic things going on and let the players create the adventure by deciding what avenue to pursue.

Make sure to include leads the directly appeal to one or more characters or involve elements of their backgrounds. This will make them feel that their creativity pays off and give you additional fuels for stories. Let the players get themselves into trouble.

Will Douglas said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments!

This is exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking for. I don't hope to write "publishable" adventures, the kind you see in your Friendly Local Game Store. I just want to put something together that my players will find enjoyable and challenging.

I guess that's more what I'm driving at than "adventure"; I don't know how to rate how tough a challenge will be. I can see coming up with something that I think will be easy and having it totally overwhelm the players. In the same vein, I can see my local big bad guy being a complete cakewalk.

How do you create a villain that will challenge the players?

Or does that even matter?