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Thread: Creating an adventure

  1. #1
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    Creating an adventure

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    I thought I would post the way in which I construct my adventures for anyone that is interested.

    Step 1 - Adventure Idea first you need to come up with an idea for your adventure. I will start with the first adventure I used for my SW game. The 4 PCs are hired by a freighter captain to help him deliver and unload some cargo. Little do the PCs know that the freighter and its cargo is stolen and the "captain" is looking to frame the PCs for stealing it. The original owner, a gungan crimelord, has sent his goons after it to reclaim the ship and its cargo.

    Step 2 - Break the idea down into scenes it helps to lay this next part out kind of like an outline. Decide what happens in scene 1, scene 2, scene 3, etc...
    Scene 1 - Meeting The PCs meet at ______ cantina. Here they meet each other and their new captain. He gives them the details of their job and tells them where to meet next.
    Scene 2 - Delivering the cargo part 1 The next day the PCs arrive at the docking bay and help unload the cargo onto a speeder truck. During the loading they are attacked by some thugs demanding the cargo and the ship be turned over to them.
    Scene 3 - Delivering the cargo Part 2 They drive the cargo to the outskirts of the city and are again attacked by thugs. This time the thugs have their own speeder and attempt to run the PCs off the road. Eventually they will arrive at their destination.
    Scene 4 - Drop Off They arrive at a compound and drop off the cargo to a huge warehouse on a wealthy looking Rodian's estate. Any preceptive PCs will notice something shady going on. Once the cargo is unloaded they return to the docking bay.
    Scene 5 - Travel to the next pick up They board their new ship with their new captain and set a course for their next destination.

    Step 3 - Write up the details for each scene I want to take the time to mention a handy little aspect of Microsoft Word. If you go under the heading "Format" and select columns, there is a nifty tool that will allow you to choose a point on the page at which you want to begin the columns. So what I do is I create a page for each scene and further break it down into detailed notes and steps for me to follow. Again, this is formatted like an outline. Then after I have finished all the notes for this particular scene I turn the rest of the page into columns where I can list any important NPCs, vehicles, or creature stats. So...

    Scene 1 - Meeting
    Arrive in the cantina.

    1. The PCs arrive in __________ cantina and have a few hours to mill about and gain their bearings.
    2. eventually their contact and new Captain arrives and gathers them altogether in a private booth. He gives them the details of the work they will be doing and where and when to meet next.
    3. Roll Perception checks for the players DC 10 to notice a shady looking Twi'lek taking just a little too much interest in their business. When the twi'lek is noticed he will get up and leave quickly.

    (Then below the above outline I would divide the page into columns and list the stas for their new captain and the Twi'lek thug.)

    Step 4 - Wrap up any details This involves any handouts that need to be typed up or anything else that doesn't fit perfectly into one of the above scenes.

    Rinse repeat.

    And ta-da! Done.

    Now discuss!
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne View Post
    I thought I would post the way in which I construct my adventures for anyone that is interested.

    Step 1 - Adventure Idea first you need to come up with an idea for your adventure. I will start with the first adventure I used for my SW game. The 4 PCs are hired by a freighter captain to help him deliver and unload some cargo. Little do the PCs know that the freighter and its cargo is stolen and the "captain" is looking to frame the PCs for stealing it. The original owner, a gungan crimelord, has sent his goons after it to reclaim the ship and its cargo.

    Step 2 - Break the idea down into scenes it helps to lay this next part out kind of like an outline. Decide what happens in scene 1, scene 2, scene 3, etc...
    Scene 1 - Meeting The PCs meet at ______ cantina. Here they meet each other and their new captain. He gives them the details of their job and tells them where to meet next.
    Scene 2 - Delivering the cargo part 1 The next day the PCs arrive at the docking bay and help unload the cargo onto a speeder truck. During the loading they are attacked by some thugs demanding the cargo and the ship be turned over to them.
    Scene 3 - Delivering the cargo Part 2 They drive the cargo to the outskirts of the city and are again attacked by thugs. This time the thugs have their own speeder and attempt to run the PCs off the road. Eventually they will arrive at their destination.
    Scene 4 - Drop Off They arrive at a compound and drop off the cargo to a huge warehouse on a wealthy looking Rodian's estate. Any preceptive PCs will notice something shady going on. Once the cargo is unloaded they return to the docking bay.
    Scene 5 - Travel to the next pick up They board their new ship with their new captain and set a course for their next destination.

    Step 3 - Write up the details for each scene I want to take the time to mention a handy little aspect of Microsoft Word. If you go under the heading "Format" and select columns, there is a nifty tool that will allow you to choose a point on the page at which you want to begin the columns. So what I do is I create a page for each scene and further break it down into detailed notes and steps for me to follow. Again, this is formatted like an outline. Then after I have finished all the notes for this particular scene I turn the rest of the page into columns where I can list any important NPCs, vehicles, or creature stats. So...

    Scene 1 - Meeting
    Arrive in the cantina.
    1. The PCs arrive in __________ cantina and have a few hours to mill about and gain their bearings.
    2. eventually their contact and new Captain arrives and gathers them altogether in a private booth. He gives them the details of the work they will be doing and where and when to meet next.
    3. Roll Perception checks for the players DC 10 to notice a shady looking Twi'lek taking just a little too much interest in their business. When the twi'lek is noticed he will get up and leave quickly.

    (Then below the above outline I would divide the page into columns and list the stas for their new captain and the Twi'lek thug.)

    Step 4 - Wrap up any details This involves any handouts that need to be typed up or anything else that doesn't fit perfectly into one of the above scenes.

    Rinse repeat.

    And ta-da! Done.

    Now discuss!
    i like it. i am going to use it to write my very first star wars adventure/campaign. i will let you know how it goes

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    Great! Let me know!

    Also, if there are more Npc's or gear, or what-ever that needs to be statted for the scene the columns will spill over onto the next page in Word so you then have a 2+ paged scene.

    Enjoy!
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    Good thing I found this, I am drawing up a campaign and this looks like it will be a lot of help!

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    There is little differecne between writing an adventure and writing a story. Main thing, in an adventure you stop with the outline, and the game is the act of writing the story itself.

    Your outlining method is decent.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    There is little differecne between writing an adventure and writing a story. Main thing, in an adventure you stop with the outline, and the game is the act of writing the story itself.

    Your outlining method is decent.

    You are too nice Tesral!

    It works for me and has worked well for many years, I just thought I would share. I never said nor promised it was good for everyone or that everyone should use my method.

    If you would like to post the way you construct your adventures/stories/campaigns I'm sure it would HELP others.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne View Post
    If you would like to post the way you construct your adventures/stories/campaigns I'm sure it would HELP others.
    I'm hideously chaotic, seriously. following my "method" would confuse most people because I don't have one. Starts with an idea of course, but from there it can branch in any number of directions.

    In part it is because of the people I play with. Sandbox players. You can no more direct them than you can herd cats. As a result I scatter shot a scenario to accommodate what direction they might take and always build the back door first.

    Perfect example was the last game. I had a big fight all set up. They called in a favor, and got the Lich in question summoned for a parlay. Blew what was planed right out of the water and they ended up not fighting a Lich and her minions (Anyone need 8 flesh golems?) but stealing a headboard. The Headboard adventure being pulled whole cloth out of my arse at the last moment. It happens and I get good at it because with my group it happens often.

    So desperate fight planned.

    What happened was dropping in on a Noble, talking his business (Horses) buying a couple, and stealing his rich-female dog spoiled daughter's headboard. (They got a replacement made before arriving and switched them . They also ended up taking the daughter to the Woodmanor Court and got to see why the Lich had picked her when she tossed a full on tantrum in front of Ghodd and everyone. Raul, who had shared the little slut's bed the night before was (she seduced him (not hard)) "Eeew, I slept with that!"

    Reason? Eecreeana agreed to "solve" the Lich problem, she need the adventures to destroy her so the magic she put in place would transfer her soul into Little Miss Prissy. However, if she told you, the magic would not work. She finally agreed to tell the party, IF they aided her in her yet unmentioned goal, getting a new young body. Her Phlactrery was in the Headboard, and it was needed, so they had to get it.

    That's my method, tap dancing as fast as possible and trying to make it look good.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    That is usually always required of a GM/DM at some point and it is worth mentioning Tesral.

    As a GM/DM there will be times when the players do something completely unaccounted for and you have to come up with encounters/NPCs/events/etc... on the fly.

    All the planning in the world can not make one ready for this and the best advice I can give is just go with it.

    I get hung up on it when my PCs do something I hadn't accounted for, and it usually shows and then they realize that they are off track. Its usually my PCs over-thinking a situation and doing much more than they really need to to get to the next scene or encounter or whatever.

    Oh! but make sure you take note of it! The thoughts and ideas and different paths the PCs have gone have given me SOOO much more ideas than what I had come up with myself.

    One great moment was at the begining of our last SW game. On of the NPCs was a hoity-toity diplomat and was upset that his organization was getting left out of the operations of a restoration project on Naboo. Someone ahd been sabotaging the project and because of that several other parties involved were intentionally being excluded. This noble was claiming speciceism (sp?) and one of the PCs thought FOR SURE that this guy was behind it all. SO what does he do, he confronts him and tries to call him out on it. This really sets the noble off and he pulls his backing from the project all together. Being the head of one of the largest enviromental groups in the galaxy he goes on to back a Sith Lord is reigning destruction down upon the Republic! All because the PC got in his face and didn't handle the situation well. This noble was going to be a nobody at first, just background flair.

    That was some good times!
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inquisitor Tremayne View Post
    I thought I would post the way in which I construct my adventures for anyone that is interested.

    Step 1 - Adventure Idea first you need to come up with an idea for your adventure. I will start with the first adventure I used for my SW game. The 4 PCs are hired by a freighter captain to help him deliver and unload some cargo. Little do the PCs know that the freighter and its cargo is stolen and the "captain" is looking to frame the PCs for stealing it. The original owner, a gungan crimelord, has sent his goons after it to reclaim the ship and its cargo.

    Step 2 - Break the idea down into scenes it helps to lay this next part out kind of like an outline. Decide what happens in scene 1, scene 2, scene 3, etc...
    Scene 1 - Meeting The PCs meet at ______ cantina. Here they meet each other and their new captain. He gives them the details of their job and tells them where to meet next.
    Scene 2 - Delivering the cargo part 1 The next day the PCs arrive at the docking bay and help unload the cargo onto a speeder truck. During the loading they are attacked by some thugs demanding the cargo and the ship be turned over to them.
    Scene 3 - Delivering the cargo Part 2 They drive the cargo to the outskirts of the city and are again attacked by thugs. This time the thugs have their own speeder and attempt to run the PCs off the road. Eventually they will arrive at their destination.
    Scene 4 - Drop Off They arrive at a compound and drop off the cargo to a huge warehouse on a wealthy looking Rodian's estate. Any preceptive PCs will notice something shady going on. Once the cargo is unloaded they return to the docking bay.
    Scene 5 - Travel to the next pick up They board their new ship with their new captain and set a course for their next destination.

    Step 3 - Write up the details for each scene I want to take the time to mention a handy little aspect of Microsoft Word. If you go under the heading "Format" and select columns, there is a nifty tool that will allow you to choose a point on the page at which you want to begin the columns. So what I do is I create a page for each scene and further break it down into detailed notes and steps for me to follow. Again, this is formatted like an outline. Then after I have finished all the notes for this particular scene I turn the rest of the page into columns where I can list any important NPCs, vehicles, or creature stats. So...

    Scene 1 - Meeting
    Arrive in the cantina.
    1. The PCs arrive in __________ cantina and have a few hours to mill about and gain their bearings.
    2. eventually their contact and new Captain arrives and gathers them altogether in a private booth. He gives them the details of the work they will be doing and where and when to meet next.
    3. Roll Perception checks for the players DC 10 to notice a shady looking Twi'lek taking just a little too much interest in their business. When the twi'lek is noticed he will get up and leave quickly.

    (Then below the above outline I would divide the page into columns and list the stas for their new captain and the Twi'lek thug.)

    Step 4 - Wrap up any details This involves any handouts that need to be typed up or anything else that doesn't fit perfectly into one of the above scenes.

    Rinse repeat.

    And ta-da! Done.

    Now discuss!
    It seems like I am always coming up with ideas that I think would make great campaigns yet I always got overwhelmed by trying to actually creating them. Your method might be able to help me out a lot.
    Drink lad. Drink to the past and drink to the morrow's reckoning.
    Becoming a hero is simple. Do something dumb enough to be brave yet lucky enough to survive.

  10. #10
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    Flow Charts

    When I was a very young DM, back in the '80's I discovered the beauty of flow chart adventures. Most players complain when they are put into an adventure that follows a linear path. So, I start an adventure with one or several options with multiple actions to each option that may happen. The trick to this is to keep it simple.

    For example, I want an adventure to be triggered by the PC's having a sudden opportunity to save someone's life. In the flow chart, they either save him or they don't. If they save him, he gives them valuable information, if they don't, they may find the information on him if they search him. Going further, if they don't search him, people may come after the PC's, thinking they know something just because they were seen where he died... In this way, I insure there is always an adventure going while allowing the players to do what they want.

    I don't really know a good way to make a flow chart with a computer, I'm used to drafting them up with pencil and paper, putting the initial event in the middle of the page, and making a tree of options. Also, give the players freedom to decide to leave one adventure path and go down a new one when making your flow chart. If the players still aren't interested in finding about the dead guy's secrets after being shaken down for answers, find out what they are interested in doing, and lead them down that path.

    One of the best benefits to playing pen and paper as opposed to video games is you have a human being creating your world, not a computer chip. Take advantage of that freedom. The best way to think on your feet is to be prepared for as many outcomes as you can think of, and for that flow charts really do work well.

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