Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Too Many Plots Spoil The Game

I have a confession to make. I have a really irritating habit as a Storyteller. Generally, I have this really cracking adventure going which is working out really well but then I throw in some plot seeds for other adventures and they get picked up on as new leads. After awhile of chasing these 'new leads' that are actually plot seeds for different adventures, the players resolve one and then sit around scratching their heads and asking: 'How was that related?'

Erm, it wasn't.

This post is basically just a friendly reminder to keep your plot seeds out of the adventure. Sure, sprinkle them around before an adventure when the players are picking one, or put in 'little white clouds' that are vague hints that things aren't quite what they seem, but don't throw in plot seeds just for the hell of it.

Don't, for example, ruin an entirely good investigation into a haunted house by pointing out the suspicious behaviour of a local teacher that, upon investigation, reveals the teacher to be a ghoul peddling vampire blood for an Invictus Ventrue who has his hands bloody after assassinating the Mayor as he'd discovered too many masquerade breaches due to his Silver Ladder boyfriend who was trying to uncover a Seer conspiracy.

Well, I guess, you could *do* that but ensure that the players don't investigate, say, the teacher until after they've checked out that haunted house. Otherwise, they'll end up scratching their ends and asking what a Seer conspiracy had to do with a haunted house. Yes, in any campaign you'll get the odd adventure run off in new directions after a more exciting plot lead (especially in sandbox games) but try to make it a little more obvious that it's a whole new adventure they're entering.

And yes, I know today is meant to be This Is What Happened During Pathfinder day but as I didn't run Pathfinder yesterday and my partner didn't run his Pathfinder today, there is no Pathfinder to report on. Hence, a new and different article. Hope you enjoyed it!

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