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  #1  
Old May 5th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Adventure Scenario Layout.

It's been years since I've written my own adventure, and I'm having a little trouble getting beyond the initial plot seed.
I just need a little nudge in the right direction to help me get started. Mainly in a technical sense, how do I take the main premise/idea, expand upon it, and type it up in a way that will make sense to me when I'm in front of my players.
Thanks in advance!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Without knowing any of the details, does the plot seed suggest any key NPCs (patrons, opponents, anyone the characters might need to converse with to achieve their goals)? If yes these need fleshing out sufficiently (some full character generation, others just basic stats).

Does the plot seed suggest areas where action might occur? Action could be a firefight, a significant encounter, investigation, etc. Locations could be a warehouse, a nightclub, a corporate office, an apartment, etc. If yes then they could be detailed/mapped too.

DGP used to use the 'nugget system' whereby an adventure was broken down into a number of possible scenes. A flowchart was then made that showed where some scenes might only occur in a certain order, where player actions might fork the path through the adventure, which scenes were key to completing the adventure ... can also help identify when the adventure is too linear.

And Marc Miller used to suggest that a campaign (or larger adventure) should have a 'push' (such as having a ship mortgage to be regularly paid), a 'pull' (offers of financial reward for some deed), and a gimmick (could be anything from a robot character, a minor Ancient device, or some fancy piece of tech that is not easy to buy).
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Old May 5th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemdian View Post
Without knowing any of the details, does the plot seed suggest any key NPCs (patrons, opponents, anyone the characters might need to converse with to achieve their goals)? If yes these need fleshing out sufficiently (some full character generation, others just basic stats).

Does the plot seed suggest areas where action might occur? Action could be a firefight, a significant encounter, investigation, etc. Locations could be a warehouse, a nightclub, a corporate office, an apartment, etc. If yes then they could be detailed/mapped too.

DGP used to use the 'nugget system' whereby an adventure was broken down into a number of possible scenes. A flowchart was then made that showed where some scenes might only occur in a certain order, where player actions might fork the path through the adventure, which scenes were key to completing the adventure ... can also help identify when the adventure is too linear.

And Marc Miller used to suggest that a campaign (or larger adventure) should have a 'push' (such as having a ship mortgage to be regularly paid), a 'pull' (offers of financial reward for some deed), and a gimmick (could be anything from a robot character, a minor Ancient device, or some fancy piece of tech that is not easy to buy).
Thanks Hemdian,
That's exactly what I'm looking for, the actual format that I need to get started. I think the nugget approach then working the individual elements into a flowchart might work well for me.
I guess when I think of the adventure I see the thing holistically and kind of freeze on where to start. I think I'll just start pulling out the nuggets, identify the NPC's that need more than a cursory flushing out and get to it.
I just need to get started.
Please someone... kick me in the head!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemdian View Post
And Marc Miller used to suggest that a campaign (or larger adventure) should have a 'push' (such as having a ship mortgage to be regularly paid), a 'pull' (offers of financial reward for some deed), and a gimmick (could be anything from a robot character, a minor Ancient device, or some fancy piece of tech that is not easy to buy).
And you forgot the enigma. Those were the four pillars of a campaign according to several traveller readings: push, pull, gimmick and enigma.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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And you forgot the enigma. Those were the four pillars of a campaign according to several traveller readings: push, pull, gimmick and enigma.
Oops, yeah. I did this from memory while at work. Enigma ... need a little mystery.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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Default Story Writing

Treat it like a short story; write up an outline. Decide on the setting, populate it with patron, villian, distractions and false leads to your taste. Flesh out your: begining, middle (the story arc)(pretty fancy, huh?) and the conclusion.
That being said, I do like the Nugget Format because it keeps me from railroading the actions I would write up if I WAS writing a story.
And yes, I have found enigma to be a very important element to the PCs. Chasing down something shiny is always much more fun than following the railroad track I set out for them.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 02:36 AM
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Dr-Rotwang's THE ADVENTURE FUNNEL

"because it helps you focus your creativity. When it's time to whip up an adventure that I'm probably not going to run because nobody shows up or something else goes wrong, The Adventure Funnel lends a hand.

It's concise, it's free-form and it's interactive, so go get a piece of paper and a pencil. No, I'm serious. Get up and do it. Okay, open up Notepad, whatever. C'mon, I'll do one along with you. It'll be fun.

A caveat: this process is not a substitute for creativity, just a funnel for ideas. You've been warned.

STEP 1: GOAL
Write down a one-sentence objective for your players to accomplish. Resist the temptation to over complicate it -- you'll have plenty of time for crazy in a minute. (Plus, you can count on players for one thing: to bork everything up for you.) Make danged sure that your sentence begins with a verb! For example, here's a goal for a Traveller scenario:

GOAL: Deliver and sell 200 tons of books, music and magazines to a buyer on Arduun.


STEP 2: OBSTACLES
Scientific studies have proven time and again that when PCs just waltz in and win, it's not that much fun. Conflict = drama, baby! So jot down some things, ANY things, that could get between the players and the goal. Write down stupid stuff, too, as you think of it. Brainstorm! Starring you instead of Christopher Walken. You are following along, right...?

OBSTACLES:

Pirates
Customs
The merchandise is contraband
No buyer, ha ha
Conan shows up looking for a fight

Yes, I know Conan isn't the first guy you think of when you say Ex-Navy 4 Terms 797A86. That doesn't matter right now. Sticking ideas on paper matters now.

STEP 3: DETAILS
Here's where the real work begins. It's brainstormng on a finer scale. Look over your previous work and start sketching in the finer points, as you think of them. Anything that fleshes out the goal, the obstacles or just the world (the mise-en-scene, if you're toity) goes here. You'll be surprised at how quickly these details will start to resolve...let them. When something starts to click (and it will), go with it. Live!

DETAILS:

The media content is all pop culture stuff from Capital. The far-future equivalents of Tiger Beat, synth music, Cosmo, Carrot Top movies, etc.
The head of Starport Authority on Arduun is a guy named Frampton Roosh, 64, near retirement.
The government of Arduun just flipped over from an oligarchy to a charismatic dictatorship, focused on "cultural purity". Hence, Tiger Beat is illegal.
RE: Conan -- A brawny barbarian from the Sword Worlds gets drunk at the same bar as the PCs, and starts a fight. Inconsequential but fun. maybe an interesting, recurring NPC?
The pirates are Vargr, raiding not for profit but for survival.
The customs office is short-staffed on account of a flu epidemic.
The new government came into power following a short but bloody civil war. Fascists, the lot of 'em.
Cargo is contraband, and when word gets out that it's in the starport, TWO buyers present themselves: organized crime and freedm-fighters. PCs must choose with whom to do business!
The freedom fighter representative is an attractive lass named Cami ....

You get the point. Obviously the whole "Contraband" angle appealed to me; it started clicking and I ran with it. I could've kept going, and so could you.

If you start getting a big ball of wax rolling, simply take an idea out of your list and put it into its own Funnel, setting the minor goal, putting up minor obstacles and detailing fiddly bits that relate to it. It needn't become the main focus of the scenario, but if you think it'll help to have the stuff handy (or if the players Go There), you'll have some notes to guide you when the crap hits the fan."
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Old May 7th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Very nice, Amra.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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This site is loaded down with some of the most creative and insighful people. I really enjoy the back and forth here. Hemdian has a really awesome site with a great background in the system Yori/Regina.

http://www.trisen.com/sol/default.asp?topic=10&page=52

Hemdian is a background generating master!
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Thanks Arma,
I've already run a few things through the funnel, and it's really given me a nice starting point. Thanks a bunch.
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