Who’s the audience?

I think I realized why all my previous attempts at writing scenarios for public usage have petered out at one point or another.  Simply put, it’s the audience.

Most of what I was writing was not tailored to a wide audience.  It was meant for the characters in my group, who had VERY SPECIFIC needs in terms of character development and plot.  So, because of this, my previous efforts would likely fall very, very flat with people that weren’t in my group.

So, I needed to open my scope a bit.  Hooks needed to be more open.  Assume less about the player characters.

I think my initial one-sheet concept does fairly well at being open to a variety of groups in the setting it’s designed for.  There’s hook for players that have encountered certain kinds of creatures, hook for future adventures, and some new stuff that I think fits nicely with the setting.

I haven’t made much progress on the outline to draft, but, I am nearing completion of the introductory section, which provides the key facts of the adventure.

It’s been fun to try and think about this sort of thing over the last while.

 

Forward progress

Over the past couple days, I’ve been putting some time into outlining my first One-Sheet for mass-consumption.  I like how it’s shaping up, but it’s still in early stages and I think there’s several revisions in my future.

As I alluded to in Writing for other people, I want to start producing content for public use, as I build up my confidence and abilities as a writer to finally get started on a large-scale project that I think the gaming community will love.

Part of this process is documenting what I’m doing.

For the one sheet I’m working on right now, I had an idea.  For this particular adventure, was the location and an era, but the location could be in almost any modern city of the era.  I had an enemy in mind as well.

I let the idea bounce around my head for a while.  After the kids were in bed and wife and I were sitting in front of the TV, I took out some paper and started writing down bullet points.  I started with the City, since the idea began to take on a true location.  I did some brief investigation and wrote down a better time frame.  I wrote down the goal of the mission.

To me, One Sheets generally have three to four ‘scenes’.  I wrote down Scene 1, Scene 2, etc and left space to fill in the gaps.  I began to write details.

Scene 1 was the setup.  How the PCs were engaged on the task at hand, etc.  Basic stuff.

Scene 2 was a little bit of investigation.  I briefly noted the things that would be accomplished in the scene.

Scene 3 was to be a combat encounter, with some investigative elements.

Scene 4 was going to reveal the reality of what was going on, and a combat encounter.

I was happy with the outline.  The opponent I had thought was going to be involved – wasn’t.  No worries, he’s on another planning document for another time.

The next morning, I typed up the outline and added even more details.  Combat encounters weren’t built up more than knowing what creatures would be present, but the overall feel of the One-Sheet was there.

I passed this draft to a few trusted friends for comments.

Once I have those back, I’ll be incorporating any feedback into the outline and I’ll begin to design the combat encounters, which I think is going to be my biggest challenge.

 

A little less crazy…

Last year, I put in what I want to describe as a ‘solid’ effort into the UofA Edition of NaNoWriMo.  Upon reflection, solid implies that I completed the novel that I started writing.  I didn’t.  I topped out around 11,000 words, which is a little over a fifth of the way to the goal of 50,000 words.  My wordcount last year was significantly higher than my previous attempt (which clocked in well shy of 1,000 words).  This year, the UofA Edition is being held in June (rather than May, due to the inability of some regulars to participate in May) and I will not be participating, for a number of reasons.  The first of which being that I don’t think I’ll have the time, given the circumstances.  Secondly, there is a different month-long event that I wish to participate in.

World Adventure Writing Month takes place in June.  The goal, like NaNoWriMo, is to produce a piece of work within the constraints of a month.  The work, in this case, is an Adventure for any RPG that you wish (it can even be systemless!).  I am unsure as to if this event is being supported any longer by it’s founders, but I am going to give this challenge a try.  As I’ve become quite the Savage Worlds fan, it seems likely that I will try to develop something using that system and perhaps one of the settings that I’ve come into ownership of.

The rules for WoAdWriMo are very…lax.  In the first iteration, there was a 30 page minimum placed on the competition.  The next year, this minimum was removed and the deadline turned ‘soft’.  In short, the organizers wanted individuals to write adventures that individuals could use.

In addition to this project, I am going to do my best to produce a series of characters that I will post on this blog.  I’m hoping to be able to produce at least a character a week.

Now, for those of you thinking, hey, didn’t you have a different blog for RPG stuff?  Yes, I did.  I’ve made the decision to consolidate my writing rather than fragment it.

Working on a Project

As I had stated a few days ago in the post “Thinking about Game Design“, that a friend and I had begun working on our own RPG project.  The game concept is based on a series of short stories written by Darren Pleavin.  We haven’t named the game yet.

The genre of the game is Survival Horror.  I think what Darren’s thought up is quite exciting and will provide an extremely interesting game world to play in.  We decided that while there are several good open game systems out there, we wanted to try our hand at designing our own system that would really let us capture the feel of the game.  However, we are leaning on FATE/Fudge for some of the ideas we’ve come up with.  Our goal is a rules light system that is really easy to administer.

If anyone out there is interested in giving us some feedback, please let me know.

Thinking about Game Design

The EGA’s International Role Playing Game Writing Month has come to a close as of midnight last night.  Similar in rules to National Novel Writing Month, the goal was to complete a role playing game in the month of March.  The project could be completed as a team, or individually.  The results of who actually was able to finish is still unclear.

I did not participate because I was just too busy to really try and hammer something of that nature out.  I was able to provide a bit of feedback to other participants, but for the most part, my participation was extremely minimal.

I am however, looking at working on a project or two based on some short stories that my friend has written.  While the stories are short, they inspire a vast worldview that really define a game world that could be used.  The trick is to design a game system around that worldview OR fit an existing game system to it.  The most difficult part being finding a game system that is licenced under the OGL that allows us to do what we’re thinking.

We could write our own, but we don’t really know where to start.  It will be interesting to see what happens.