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MoonHunter Sayeth 20170619


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Creating a Chronicle The MoonHunter Way

1) Conception and Base Ideas
2) Chronicle Copy.

3) Bits Collection
4) Preliminary Setting and Chronicle Creation
- ) Chronicle Selection (this will occur sometime after step 2, 3, 4)
5) Base Chronicle Packet (Hard or Soft)
6) Casting the Chronicle
7) Second Bit collection / Plot Bit collection
8) Formalizing Story Arc work – story boarding -
9) Finish the Chronicle Packet
10) Prep Work This may be done simultaneous with packet polishing
11) Create your GM Gear (GM pad, etc)
12) Prep the first session or three (one adventure)
12b) Every Sessions/ Adventure Prep (as needed)
-) Maintain the Chronicle: Like Character Creation, Chronicle Creation never ends. There is time advancement, expiration of story arcs, talking to the players to collect new bits, laying down new story arcs-

If you have seen The MoonHunter way before, the steps were a little different. Time goes on. Thing are refined. The steps are basically the same, but they are better distributed and refined in this list.

0) Why I do this? Setting up campaigns that will not fail.
The point of this process is to ensure there is always something to engage the PCs AND the players. They gave input to the setting, the chronicle, and the character group. (By the time, the players know what kind of adventures to expect and how they want to interact with the setting.) The GM takes the inputs they are given and mixes things together so they will be fresh and new. Together, the troupe has put together a campaign they can all deal with. Thus the only thing that can go wrong with a chronicle is something totally unforeseen or personality/ social issues within the group (which might have been addressed via the Play Rules). Even those problems can be "headed off” by talking with everyone early and often about the game and the game group. If you are proactive, you can make your life easier in the end.

1) Conception and Base Ideas
This is the starting point. I always start, with an idea or several ideas mashed together. Sometimes, ideas just come to you. Sometimes you stumble over them. Collecting ideas from various sources for later is useful for a GM.

Reading books, watching movies, leafing through a graphic novel, catching youtube shorts, are all good. The more stories and ideas you have in your head, the more things might rattle out. Keep your imagination “well fed” with interesting things and it will serve you well.

Reading through your game library is always a great source of inspiration and base ideas. Reading several games that fit your fancy is good for ideas, inspiration, and keeping the knowledge of that game fresh in your mind =.

A GM, much like a writer, should have a “little book” – a note book – where various ideas can be written down and stored for later. It could be things that are neat. Plot ideas. Twists of phrase. All sorts of bits. You can make it a physical book or a digital file on your phone or tablet. (I am a Google Keep kind of guy, but I used to use Evernote too.)

Many writers scrapbook, collecting images. GMs can do the same. Again, with physical book or a digital file of images. I like using Pinterest, but you can use your own tool. The advantage of pinterest is that you can easily store urls where cool piece of information might be. (Though you can collect those in your little book as well).

For game purposes, start with an anchor point - a game system, a game genre (if it is a universal game), a setting (again to play in), a framework for the characters (a band of rock stars, a group of werewolves, a krewe of criminals, etc), powers or skills you want to see (everyone parkours), a visual that is cool (a setting. Then see what seems fun, cool, or interesting from there. Play around with things until they work for you.

Note: The one idea that is most useful is "lend your players movies, books, and comic books, that fit your future campaign."

Most GMs have the source material that inspired the setting, especially settings they like (and would prefer to play). GMs might as well share. If you get the players in the mood for that kind of story, then it is easier to get them to buy that ticket, rather than the other options.

"Oh I just watched that great John Woo movie. That would be great to… Sure, we can play Martial Arts Monks."
2) Chronicle Copy aka Chronicle Trailer
To be honest, this is one of my favorite parts. Have you seen my hundreds of 101 chronicle/ campaign entries on RPG.Net? Then Chronicle Copy will begin to seem very familiar.
Chronicle copies are how a GM determines what chronicles the players want to play next.

You want something to explain the chronicle and get players excited about it. Think about it as trailer for a Movie or the copy on the back cover of a book. It is there to grab their attention and make them want to play the game.

A Chronicle Copy can have two parts: Blurb and Direct Copy

The Blurb is the only requirement. In most people’s opinion, the blurb is the best part.
It is the chronicles equivalent of a movie trailer or the copy on the back cover of a book. It is a tease about game’s setting, framework, and maybe even the core storyline. If it doesn’t make you, the writer, want to play the game, keep writing it until it does. Then it should attract the attention of

*It should pack as much information as it can in an entertaining package.
*It should be graphic, showing cool images of things found in the setting.
*It should imply or show the setting.
*It should show possible types of characters
*It should have some action, showing story or plot.
*It should be as short as possible. Ideally it is a paragraph, but sometimes it gets bigger.
You can “Frame” the blurb in any number of familiar ways. Some people write vignettes. Some people write actual movie trailers. Some people write a quick summary of the setting. Whatever fits you and your skills is what you should do.
I might suggest writing each blurb three or four time, riffing on it first. See what works well for you.

The Direct Copy is all those other details about the possible chronicle. Things that would be included:
*More specific details about the setting or framework for the characters. You will need more of this the more “artistic” you get with the blurb.
*Game System being used. Rules and* Supplements being used.
*Approximate run time for the Chronicle
*Date, Times, Location, any co-GMs or such..
As you can see, it is what ever details you have to impart to the players so they know everything that will be going on.
To use Chronicle Copies, one presents them at the beginning. If the troupe is starting from “go”, they are presented as beginning. If a chronicle is currently running, As a chronicle approaches its “end phase”/ home stretch, it is time to determine what the players might like to play next.

The GM prepares a Chronicle Copy for each possible chronicle the GM might want to run (and thinks the player will play). Some will be variations on the same setting/ system, some will be for different settings/ frameworks, some will be different genres. I have found that players respond well to having several options, usually three at any time. Unless there is an explosion of spontaneous joy from the group, I will often tailor the Chronicle Copies (and the chronicles they represent) to their responses. I might do this several times, so by the time the chronicle ends, the players are excited about the new chronicle, just as if they were excited about a new movie or tv show.

Note: Sometimes I throw older chronicle copies that have not been run (and a few that have), just to see if the group will show interest.
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