Encounter Formula: challange(combat, social, puzzel) + unique element + way to advance even with failure = sucessfull encounter
act 1 (short) inciting incident plot turning point leads to act 2 (long) conflcht plot turning point leads to act 3 (short) coda (optional set up next episode
Visualize scene - vivid mental picture with much detail, try from antagonists point of view
Overall Colour - warm cool, dark light, bright grey
Highlight Colour - complementary to fit, contrast to not. black contrasts with yellow red orange yellow-green, white the opposite unluess mixed with white, like light-blue
Light Quality - harsh, soft, pale, spectral, haunting, radiant Shadow Quality - instead for dangerous/sinister/mysterious
Principale Shape -
Texture - Withered, Craggy, Smooth, Dimpled, Pockmarked, Grainy, Cracked
Mood of the Scene -
Save Detail for Later - If a character would have noticed something that you have omitted from the scene description, then whenever that detail becomes relevant–either to the discussion or to a different scene or person–simply announce, “Something that [character name] noticed earlier now becomes relevant,” and go on to supply the pertinent details.
Less Detail - “There is a grove of twisted trees surrounding a stone structure of large granite blocks. The structure is a tall spire with lots of spikes sticking out irregularly around it.
On the western side there is a doorway with a heavy stone door inset slightly with a jagged surface. Over the roof is a twisted motif that looks foreboding. It’s cold and wet and smells of decay. Insects scuttle over its surface, disturbed by some nameless dread. You hear no birds or wildlife.
Several feet in front of the door is a statue of a youthful warrior in chain mail and leather. His open-faced helm has the same symbol that you saw on top of the doorway. He carries a large, round shield, and has a drawn long sword with several nicks along the edges. His beard is about 6 inches long and knotted into two pigtails. He is carrying a bulky backpack and the shape of cooking gear can be perceived inside of it.
He also has a number of daggers in sheaths placed here and there around his body. In front of the statue are the remains of a long-dead campfire, beside which a few rags linger. To one side of the rags is a blue-green gem about 1/4 inch in length in a spindle shape.”
By the time you finish the description of what the figure is wearing, you have started to forget that it’s a statue, and by the time you’ve mentioned the gem, the fact that the trees are twisted and knotted has completely vanished. As a result, the characters are reacting to the details, not to the totality of the scene.
Reworking this example using the techniques described by this article ignores the details and instead gives the impressions of that totality:
“Trees writhe in knots, and leaves of a dark green surround the clearing. A twisted tower of heavy grey blocks bears a vine-like motif. Deep black shadows conceal the details of a grey statue of a young warrior bearing the same symbol. Thorns seem to protrude from the tower, adding to its plant- like shape. Insects scuttle, disturbed by some nameless dread. A long-dead campfire, a blue-green gem, and some knotted rags beside the statue add to the feeling of decay.”
1 card per scene - Description - The point of this scene - How does success advance story - How does failure advance story
1 card per location - Few words bulleted - Light level - Climate - Dominate colors - Sights - Sounds - Smells - Texture - Taste - Something evocative
1 card per NPC - Frontside stat card - Backside - height weight age - features - face - dress - motion - voice - demeanor - typical quote
===== Clever Title =====
/downloads/Three Basics of Adventure Design.pdf
===== Dungeon Prep Checklist ===== rpttips #339
Here is a checklist for underground complexes or any type of structure the party can explore.
===== Rivals ===== From rpgtips #339
At some point every party will start getting rivals. Rivals should usually be treated like minor villains. They should not be more powerful than the PCs, and generally will just be out to make things difficult for the PCs or cause them to lose face.
This is a type of villain the party will need to fight in a different way.
Allow for rivalry to start due to misunderstandings as well.
Example: the party has had problems with their rival sweeping in at the last second to steal their glory and treasure. As a result, their rival is getting rich with little work, but isn’t earning much experience. Eventually the rival follows the party into a spot where he cannot handle even the most trivial threat, and must be rescued. Alternately, the rival is a loudmouth about his successes, and the villain of a campaign assumes that he and not the PCs are the primary threat.
===== Adventure Ideas ===== Scam like in “the Good, the Bad, the Ugly” Dragon and knight. Dragon terrorized knight offers to save village. Rinse and repeat.
Bard wants revenge, leaves rymes puzzles, bombs to kill and murder destroy the person wronged him, merchant, ship caravan. [from Charlie’s Angels episode]
=== Against the “Giants” === Not much like the AD&D G series, some Gullivers travels in there. “Giants” are human sized. The players are tiny.
* little people(hobbits) say foot high vs humans * mice (sized) vs humans * kobolds vs everyone * faries vs everyone
=== Escape === Inspired by X-Files edpisode I’ve never seen.
S&M get trapped in a fungus or mountain or something and keep thinking they’ve escaped only to find out it was a hallutionation created by the ‘fms’.
Mix of that escaping/dieing/waking up and States of Being fragments of one’s beings mind.
The characters are similarly unknowingly trapped. GM has great fun evily slaughtering them and making them think they failed in the first 15min only to awake at their starting point. Continue through several iterations. During which a talented GM slowly reveals that the characters are bits of sub-conscious from a single entity and the things that kill them or how they die trying to “escape” reveal what’s wrong with the entity (in coma say) and what to do about it. Lots of details to work out but I think I’m not good gm for this. My secrets and clues are bi-polar; insanely obscure or patently obvious.
=== Candy Land === Players transported there after massive battle/gore fest
syrups heal real world damage, but not candyland damage
== Beasties == * Umpa Lumpas!!! * Sugar queen * Gingerbread soldiers of the Sugar Queen * PEZ launchers as artillery * Peeps - enslaved by Sugar Queen, mine sugar * Sugar Plum Faries * Marshmellow giants * Jellybean giant/golem * Choco bunnies * Animal crackers roaming the plains * Gummy worm/bear monster * Candy snake
== Flora == * Weeping willows with dots for leaves * Sugar straws marsh plants * Bon Bons as mushrooms with magic effects * Frosting flowers * Lollipop trees * Cotton candy trees
== Environment == * Snows powdered sugar * Gumdrop hail
== Geography == * Sugar plum forest * Chocolate falls * Pez brick road * Hotfudge pits, like tarpits trap the animal crackers * Mellow marsh * Butterscotch swamp * Candy corn fields w/ chocolate, strawberry milk cows * Ice cream flows/floats * Volcano spews mollasses & red-hots * Rock candy grotto * Taffy trap * Jellybean boulders * Fountains of flavored syrups italian sodas * Sugar queens castle/tower