Scenario Design

Thoughts and experiments concerned with the writing of role playing game scenarios.

Character Hooks

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

One of the key challenges in scenario design is finding ways to help the characters by into the story.

This is my take on adapting the advice of Wolfgang Baur in “Writing your first adventure” (https://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ab/20060728a) to Pulp Adventure design.

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The Revelation List – an aid to memory

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself more and more in need of assistance when it comes to keeping track of all the important points that the players need to learn during a game.  A list of key revelations that need to occur during the game is therefore an invaluable tool.

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Locations and clues – a guide to avoiding railroads

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

After constructing an outline, listing the NPCs, and defining the villain, the next thing I do in preparing a scenario is map out the locations in the plot outline and the connections between them.  This will eventually result in four things; a location map linking the locations with clues, a clue list/chart, and two game maps (one for the players and one for the GM).

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Quickly defining the NPCs and the Scenario’s conflict

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

Once the general plot of a game has been defined I create a list of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) who might be important in the game and define their relationships and the scenario’s main areas of conflict.

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The 10 Minute Plot Formula

The text of this blog is copyright 2012. Have fun with the content but don’t pass it off as your own or try to sell it, Okay.

Today’s blog entry is about a simple scenario outlining tool I like to use.  It’s based on alternating action and exposition within a 3 act structure defined by the conventions of the pulp adventure genre (with a little recently discovered (at least by me) feature of  cinematic screenplay writing called the “goal reversal”).

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