It takes 5, maybe 10 minutes more to make a cake from scratch than it does from a box. Â The difference in taste is incredible. What does this have to do with gaming? Â Adventures are like cakes and modules are like boxed mixes. Â A few minutes of time and some extra effort makes a big difference. Â
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. Â 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. Â
Developing something vaguely adventurous is actually a fairly simple process, if you bother to learn it. Â If you have watched the an hour long TV drama, you know the basic format of a successful adventure session. Â If you have watched a movie, you have the basic format for the campaign. Â It is all about action, reaction/ resistance, and BDE (Best Dramatic Effect). Â A little more work and a touch of confidence, and it just goes. Â
Choose a setting, any setting, and start from there. Â Developing an adventure can be based on the setting and the characters your players put together. Â Make them part of the story.General advice:
First, don't be afraid to wing it. Â Lay it down in tiles. used the random chart. Pull things from previous games. Â 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. Â I had a great fantasy campaign that was StarWars adapted to a different world. Â Borrowing is great for fast campaigns
Third: Go with what you know. Â If you know Tolkein, do Tolkein. If you know 13th century Italy, set a game there. Â If you know 20th century LA, set a game there. Â 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. Â (Children's books are great resources. Â 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. Â
For quick advice, I might recomend the following two siteswww.openroleplaying.org/tools/tips/
Â Â Â Hit f5 alot or type in GM or the title of a tip that is useful. www.roleplayingtips.com
Â Â Â Go into the archive
Ways to Play Column on www.rpg.nethttp://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/columns/waystoplay09jun03.html
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. Â http://book.realbuy.ws/0060391685.html
Â or bookseller/ eseller near you. Â
For some solid advice, you can check the web.
Â Â Â * for most applicable
* Â http://members.aol.com/dwcope/index.htm
Uncle Figgy http://www.geocities.com/blackhatmatt/
Black Hat Mat http://www.io.com/~sjohn/blue.htm
Blue Room http://www.geocities.com/dr_games/
Dr Staat http://chrysanthemumroad.tripod.com/writing/Writings.htm
Afira's rpg books http://www.skotos.net/articles/ http://www.martiandreams.com/
Wordsmyth games- Mudd Info http://villa.lakes.com/JamesStarlight/#ITEM%201
General Starlights Info http://www.llentia.dk/reader/
Classic http://www.openroleplaying.org http://www.rpg.net
Forums and Articles http://www.strolen.com/
Burning Void http://www.roleplayingtips.com
* http://www.fantasylibrary.com/foyer.htm http://www.atfantasy.com/
Articles/ Stories http://www.fathomgate.com/ http://ptgptb.org/
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. Â Learn some time management tricks, (see web). They did wonders for me AND more time for gaming, family, and work.