At the end of the rains one year Lai-Xeng sought out the advice of the famous architect Noo-Om’nter. The Emperor’s builder was unsure that a proposed bridge across a wide river would be feasible. Lai-Xeng volunteered to take the problem to the master Noo-Om-ter.
One day, in the dew and grey of the pre-dawn hour, Lai-Xeng sat outside the quarries were Noo-Om’ter meet with young designers. As the young architects gathered with their wax tablets and fabric scrolls Lai-Xeng reviewed his own notes so that he could present Noo-Om’ter with the problem of the bridge clearly. Then just as the sun was rising Noo-Om’ter came walking towards the crowd form the east. The rising sun streaming through his unkempt grey hair; Noo-Om’ter first reminded the crowd that he was Noo-Om’ter and assured them that he had seen their problems before. Noo-Om’ter took the offerings of food and drink brought to him and then listened to two questions from the score of young designers.
For the rest of the morning Noo-Om’ter talked about how he had done thing in the west. With each story he dissmissed the questions of the younger ones as being the results of poor planning, incomplete work or pure ignorance.
“All my designs were based on 10,000 hours of research, that is the Noo-Om-ter way, if you did not do 10,000 hours of research you can not succeed.”
“Noo-Om’ter would never attempt such a design, it is inherently limit, the reasons are obvious to any designer with a drop of intelligence.”
“Noo-Om’ter has seen many such things as you have proposed fail, yet the castles of the ancients still stand, and I learned from those castles.”
At midday Noo-Om’ter left and Lai-Xeng sat with the young builders. Lai-Xeng then asked the young men what they wanted to build. They told him and he asked why. They told him and he asked how. They told him and he asked how else they might build it. Then Lai-Xeng asked the young men how else they build their designs. After they discussed other measures, he asked them what might fail and why. They discussed that for a time, and then they went through the designs counting what they could be sure of and what they couldn’t. At the end of the day Lai-Xeng had learned much and he left the quarries that night.
When he returned the builder asked him what Noo-Om’nter had said. Lai-Xeng told him what Noo-Om’nter had said, and the builder was confused. “But what did he say about the Bridge?” Lai-Xeng replied
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“To build our bridge we must judge the weakness in our own plans, not be judged by the purported strength of others.”
As a plot this is well structured. I like the idea of presenting the plot by following its development. I also think this post is well organized and cleanly written.
But ultimately the piece fails in its goal to provide a guide for constructing a Lovecraftian adventure. This discusses none of the themes of a Lovecraft’s work. The idea of evil cultist is not Lovecraftian. The implied relationship between other world knowledge and insanity is genuinely Lovecraftian, but you don’t present it as such. Also, as to generating the ideas you present the discussion in a very linear fashion. With the exception of when, if and how to bring the monster in, you don’t deal with possible other routes for the adventure. A GM needs to be able to roll with it when things get way of course, so plots should not be a structured as this one. The GM shouldn’t know how things are going to resolve. I am sure you wrote this in one your advice stubs. This is a fine plot, and presented as just a plot it would be okay. But as a guide to designing a genre specific adventure, this fails.
There is place for these pastorial subs and this it, Moonhunter is like the fire and brimestone preacher of gaming, he praises what deserves praises and sprays damnation and hellfire on the rest.
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This one touches my soul however, thank you for giving my pain voice.