Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I keep trying, but so far, meh

I am referring to  putting out a published adventure module.  What I keep coming back to is that just as I find it difficult to use  a published module,  neither can I produce one.

The thing is, I like to keep things very random and open ended.  At many points, it comes to making it up on the spot as it seems to fit in.  I am spontaneous that way.

I start all my adventures by creating a basic "story" in the form of sort of an outline.  This gives me a starting point, an ending point and things I know ahead of time that I want to see happen along the way.  After that,  I write up everything that needs to be known about those "scenes" including NPC's, treasure, locations, etc...  So as my pre-planned scenes are concerned, I can get into some detail.\

In between those scenes though,  I leave things wide open, allowing for sometimes complete random activity and spontaneous creativity both on my part and for the players as well.  I like to let interactions and role play determine what comes next.

This makes writing a published module hard for me.   I admittedly lack the discipline it seems to write at that scale.  What is much more fun for me is to let the players fill in the story as they play and document what happens.  After it's all said and done,  I have a story to share with you based on our game. 

I like to run a high fantasy game.  This is my world and there is lots of magic in it for those who know how to access it and use it.   I like to let the players have characters with high scores on their physical traits.  Again, it's high fantasy and in my world, the heroes that players are role playing are exceptional from the start.  They were uncommon before they were trained to be whatever Class they became and it was because of those exceptionalities that they were selected to be trained to begin with.

It is partially because of this that any level character in any game might discover or be rewarded with any type of enchanted items.  Just because I let them be found, they have to be able to make use of it or save it till they can or trade it or sell it.  So many options to roleplay out if say a 2nd level Fighter finds a +3 sword but has no clue what it is or does and by not being able to figure it out perhaps, sells it or tosses it away because they already have a sword, they think, that is as good or better.

A lot of times,  I let those things happen entirely at random because it seems to fit the situation at hand. Sometimes  I have an idea that I might do that thing in such a situation, other times,  I am just as surprised at the turn of events and will add something in the mix spontaneously to reward or punish or otherwise impact the gameplay as it seems to fit the situation.

I guess what it is I'm trying to say and not really getting it out clearly is that not only do  I referee and mange the game,  I AM the game. It's not about being fair or unfair in terms of intentionally trying to make it difficult or easy to the players but more allowing the game to "naturally" respond with organic consequences to the Players choices.

Because of all that, writing an adventure module to be published for others to use just never seems to be something I can do.    The next best thing is to share what happened after the fact and let other DM's take the key theme and "scenes" ad adapt them to their own games.

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