Thursday, March 21, 2013

Free Adventure Writing

Looks like my players are willing to test my assumptions about their ability to withstand Love Dead Doom (check title).  I’ll probably be running the adventure with a choice selection of 3 – 4 players who are willing to take the challenge.  As they’re going in expecting a challenge and pumping themselves up for it, there’s a good chance they’ll make it through just fine.  Be interesting if it turns out to be too rough, after all.  Only one way to see.

Anywho, my free adventure is coming along nicely.  I’ve written up two pages of adventure overview, guidelines, hooks, and advice; two pages of detail on Barrow-in-Furness including possible avenues for investigation in the town at large; and about four pages of rough draft on the Stanwick Estate.  No statistics for anybody yet.  I’ll do that last.

It’s interesting because I plan to have different versions of the document for different systems.  Whenever I think of converting it into a different system, I think of different aspects that need to go into it.  World of Darkness adventures are often quite slick and there’s often not much more information than NPCs, interactions, and what different people know.  Trail of Cthulhu makes you want to know about the potential clue spends and that means more hints to be able to pick up on.  Call of Cthulhu BRP is all about the hand outs, which makes me wonder if I should provide a few, and if so, what would they be?  Pathfinder, well, that’s more about providing interesting encounters and perhaps the occasional trap.

Some things will necessarily need to be different between adventure variants but it’ll also be interesting to see what can cross over between the various system conversions.  I think this will teach me a lot about the different priorities for different games as well as whether a more rounded adventure can be created from using different game perspectives or if it’ll just make things cluttered.

In the end, you’ll be the judge for that.

Hmm, need a name for it other than 'Free Adventure'.  Not sure what yet.


  1. I'm really interested to see how the different game editions of the scenario would work out. It's not something I imagine people think about much, but looking at that idea, it strikes me that sort of 'translation' could be a really useful tool for helping writers pin down what they're trying to do with a scenario, and making sure the structure's solid.

  2. I'm currently near the end of my first foray into adventure writing, but my plan is for a system neutral adventure. I've got all the characters down as prose sketches, and NPCs the same, with combat stuff done as descriptions rather than abilities. This leaves a lot of fine detail to the GM, which might not be what a lot of people want, but when I run a pre-written adventure I like to have the freedom to put my stamp on it a little bit.

  3. @Shimmin: True enough. I imagine that I'll be porting some of the information across the different options but there's bound to be a few key differences. I'll try them out in the different systems at some stage and check the differences in how they play out.

    @Paul: System neutral adventures are fine for me as a Storyteller. I often read in systems I never get to run in.