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Turning an idea into an adventure

Flowswithdrek

Freelance Writer
Validated User
Yeah, apart from a few details this is good to go as far as an adventure is concerned. To polish it off, do a map. Have a list of random customer names ready. Have a list of stuff you woulfld expect to find in a pub (shotgun behind bar, confiscated taser etc.)Have some of the npc characters have conflict of interests. Perhaps one of them has a secret related to the outbreak and doesnt want the pcs to get to the pub owners house to get his meds...
 

Calonnau

Registered User
Validated User
A question for the OP - it sounds like you've run before so do you have a good sense of what preparation work you need to do to feel comfortable running a game?
 

John

Registered User
Validated User
Pcs are in a typical English pub when a zombie apoc. breaks out. The dead are four lines deep and swarming the outside of the building; there's a cemetery right next door. Inside the pub there's an 8 month pregnant woman who goes into labour, the pub owner is a diabetic who needs his meds...which he conveniently left at his house which is about 200 yards to the left of the pub. And a 7 year old (asthmatic) boy is trapped on a climbing frame in the play area outside. Here and there the dead attempt to break through the windows.
In that zombie pub scenario - the push is that if you stay still you'll get overrun with zombies. The pull is that that the diabetic needs his meds and the asthmatic boy needs rescuing. As mentioned, all that's missing is a clear end game - reach a rescue helicopter, or last until first light, maybe?
Also worth noting is the intrinsic or extrinsic motivation of the PCs/players to value aiding those in need vs. saving their own skin. Relationship entanglements are often a critical part of an adventure experience. The pregnant woman might be PC1's wife. The asthmatic child might be the boy PC2 had been babysitting. And PC3 could be part-owner of the pub with the diabetic pub owner who was going to buy out his share of the establishment in a few days so that PC3 could pay off those very vicious loan sharks, but if the diabetic dies, then, well...
Of course, rescuing X number of innocents could simply be a Victory Condition of the game for the players.

The RPG's system often dictates structural elements that make an adventure idea conform to mechanical needs, but, in general, I find that our struggle to transform an adventure idea into a workable adventure game is how well we navigate the conceptual struggle between adventure-as-story and adventure-as-scenes while taming our own GM-y expectations.
 

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
A question for the OP - it sounds like you've run before so do you have a good sense of what preparation work you need to do to feel comfortable running a game?
You’re right I’ve GM’d plenty enough and I usually end up preparing enough material. My issue was getting it down in a coherent format
 

John

Registered User
Validated User
You’re right I’ve GM’d plenty enough and I usually end up preparing enough material. My issue was getting it down in a coherent format
Oh. I see. Have you tried prioritizing material by locations?
Start with general details about an interesting, critical place, then add to your notes things like "If here at noon, then..." "If here after the something-event happens, then..." "If here without the something-important, then..."
 

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
Oh. I see. Have you tried prioritizing material by locations?
Start with general details about an interesting, critical place, then add to your notes things like "If here at noon, then..." "If here after the something-event happens, then..." "If here without the something-important, then..."
That's something I've been tinkering with. I call them 'Events' and I just drop them into the adventure if the pace drags. Of course the pace never drags because I am the best GM in the world.












Not. :D
 

soltakss

Simon Phipp - RQ Fogey
Validated User
I can come up with ideas, but how do you turn them into an adventure? I've struggled with this for such a long time.
What I do is either to come up with a number of linked situations and that the PCs can interact with, or come up with a rough plot and fill things in as I go along.

So, you might have an idea about a Lonely Vampire who has no friends , a Princess running away from her family and a boy searching for his lost father. You can have each of these as a situation that the PCs can encounter and riff off them, or you can have the Vampire being the boy's father and the Princess helping the boy find his father.

I've used a lot of methods too; the fish tank method, the adventure funnel, mind maps, bullet points, you name it. None of them seem to work for me.

I just can't find the right "way" to structure it all.
I have no idea what a lot of those are. You might be concentrating more on the theory of how to do something than the actual doing of it.

Personally, I like bullet-points. I just list what a scene is about and let the Players trample all over it. When I have interlinked scenes in a possible plot, the Players can mess about with it, perhaps to follow the plot, perhaps to destroy it. Either is fine with me, as I just have the plot as bullet-points.
 

dindenver

RPG Designer
Validated User
The Monster of the Week RPG has a great system for setting up bad guys. It asks you about details that will force you, the GM, to flesh out the bad guy into a threat that can survive more than one encounter. Basically it asks for the following:

BBEG Name:

Goal

Motivation

Powers/special strengths (not just resistant to fire or whatever, but political power, etc.).

Weaknesses (again, not just takes extra damage from ice, but things like vanity)

Minions (this is important because initial encounters with the PCs should be through minions).

Victims (important to have names ahead of time)

Witnesses

Bystanders

Locations

Teaser (what clue or tidbit lets the PCs know that something is going on).

Countdown (this is a series of events that absolutely will happen if the PCs do nothing).

Phase 1 - What is the first thing the PCs investigate? Where is it located? Who is there what happens before the PCs get there? Who saw it?

Phase 2 - As per phase 1, but make sure it is something that the BBEG can accomplish even if they are thwarted in Phase 1

Phase 3-6

Final showdown - Where is it, who is there? Are there any special circumstances if the BBEG succeeded in any of the earlier phases?

This creates a situation where there is urgency and consequences without it being all about the players. You are making critical decisions BEFORE finding out what the PCs have up their sleeves. Also, it gives you tools to work with if the PCs do something completely unexpected. You know what the NPC wants and why and where they are headed, so you have the tools to make a believable improvisation.
 

Adeps

Registered User
Validated User
I feel like the "end" of the zombie siege pub is that you and your newly rescued kid, diabetic, and medicine, all get far enough away from the zombies to feel safe, or have retaken the pub with the windows of the ground floor boarded up. Then the next adventure deals with the issues that your last adventure left you with. The group that fled the scene need to reach the house of (insert pc)'s loved one. The group that retook the pub have to roam out for supplies of food.
 
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