Idea Guild > Sagely Advice

Its like baking a cake *


It takes 5, maybe 10 minutes more to make a cake from scratch than it does from a box.  The difference in taste is incredible. What does this have to do with gaming?  Adventures are like cakes and modules are like boxed mixes.  A few minutes of time and some extra effort makes a big difference.  

If you want a game that is a step above "squad leader" style tactical play, (10x35 room, stone, 2 doors, and these monster... okay, round 1 your figures are here) you are going to have to work on it.  Dealing with characters and their somewhat origins, reading the module and how it goes, and where it leads, takes almost as much time as doing it from scratch, if you know what you are doing.  

Developing something vaguely adventurous is actually a fairly simple process, if you bother to learn it.  If you have watched the an hour long TV drama, you know the basic format of a successful adventure session.  If you have watched a movie, you have the basic format for the campaign.  It is all about action, reaction/ resistance, and BDE (Best Dramatic Effect).  A little more work and a touch of confidence, and it just goes.  

Choose a setting, any setting, and start from there.  Developing an adventure can be based on the setting and the characters your players put together.  Make them part of the story.

General advice:
First, don't be afraid to wing it.  Lay it down in tiles. used the random chart. Pull things from previous games.  I personally avoid tactical rich challanges (i.e. Dungeons) when trying to do a fast game because charting them takes time.

Secondly: Don't be afraid from borrowing from a book or movie.  I had a great fantasy campaign that was StarWars adapted to a different world.  Borrowing is great for fast campaigns

Third: Go with what you know.  If you know Tolkein, do Tolkein. If you know 13th century Italy, set a game there.  If you know 20th century LA, set a game there.  If you don't know about the place you think you want to play in, read a children's book on the location and go with it.  (Children's books are great resources.  They are easy to read, hit the high points without being bogged down in details, and have lots of cool pictures for you to crib ideas from or save and show your players.)

Lastly, get some real advice under your belt.  
For quick advice, I might recomend the following two sites  
 Â     Hit f5 alot or type in GM or the title of a tip that is useful.
 Â     Go into the archive

Ways to Play Column on  

Robins Law, the book on campaigning has some great advice in a quick format.

Any book of ScreenWriting. Robert McKees Story is one of the best.  or bookseller/ eseller near you.  

For some solid advice, you can check the web.
 Â     * for most applicable

Gaming Wisdom
* Uncle Figgy Black Hat Mat Blue Room Dr Staat Game theory
* Afira's rpg books Wordsmyth games- Mudd Info General Starlights Info game tips

Classic Forums and Articles
* Burning Void Four's Site
* Articles/ Stories Places to Go, People to Be eZine

All this info is game independent. You pick any game system that you know and go with it.

Once you get an idea for it, any amount of time will do to make the game.  Learn some time management tricks, (see web). They did wonders for me AND more time for gaming, family, and work.


Those are all great links. I have been to most of them, but there are a few that are new to me. Thanks for them.

The question that I have is I have created a world but I am not sure if I like the way it is turning out, would you scrap it and start over or try to constantly tweek it?

It all depends.........

In general the final question you should ask yourself before deciding to kill your world or to tweek it is fairly easy (The answer does not have to be that easy)

Ask yourself:
Do I like the basic concept of the world.
So do you like the foundation you are building on, the general idea of how magic works, of the whole universe around it.

If you think the foundation is solid and sound, I would continue from what I have... then if I need major changes, continue the game in some totaly different area of your world.
If it only needs some tweeking, you can move to a different area.

If the whole concept is wrong, you start with a new world, but during a campaign, that might prove rather difficult.

I quess I am a lucky person, as I did pay attention to this risk before starting out to design my world, that is why I created a island rich world.
Each and every time I need a new part of the world, I only need to design only a small part, which saves a lot of time.
Also each and every different island can have a totaly different atmosphere and culture.

This way I have a very modular world and if I don't like how a certain island is turning out, I can always move to a new location.

To come back to your problem, I would say try not to tweek it constantly, but just sit down and try to figure out where you want to go first. Then make the changes, if need be, make radical changes and go where you want to go.
During a campaign, this may mean you will have to "move" your players, perhaps by sending them on a long quest, or simply by making sure they make themselfs "persona-non-grata" in a certain area. After all, if everybody hates them, I would asume they would feel like traveling to new horizons. (this also gives them little reason to return later on)

Looking back at all this, I am afraid I could have tried to keep a more stable storyline, but well.... I hope it helps.




--- Quote from: "Wingnut" ---The question that I have is I have created a world but I am not sure if I like the way it is turning out, would you scrap it and start over or try to constantly tweek it?
--- End quote ---

The only thing it depends on is the amount of pressing need I have for the world.  If it is a world I might be running someday soon, I might scrap what I have done and revisit the world another time.  If I need a world with the certain requirements, tommorow lets say, I work on it and tweek it as I go.  

You really need a solid foundation to work from.  If you don't have that, you might as well go home.  Once you have the basic foundation in your mind, it is all just a process of writing things out and working on the details.  If I don't have the foundation, I won't run the world (and to be safe, I don't even mention it to the troupe... lest their innate player "head to the edge of the map sense" lead them to a campaign I am not ready to run).


[0] Message Index

Go to full version