Thursday, August 30, 2018

Adventure Design Consideration

Still haven't written up the Deindustrial Future episode 4 report, and we played a game of MegaTraveller set in a small-ship LBB77-style universe of my own dicing. I should write that one up, too.

I've been reading a few reviews of adventures lately that pick on one thing: adventure space "wasted" on things that the Referee can make up themself. On the one hand, I can see this. It wastes space that could be used for something of more value, or else could be edited out to save on the size of the product. That's fine and all. The thing is, though, that I want those things. I can for sure make up the contents of a kitchen or pantry, but sometimes in the heat of running a game I don't want to make them up. I want something I can look at and just lazily pick. That's why I'm paying for an adventure instead of writing it myself. If I have a better idea than what is written, then I can supersede* their material with my own.

For example, I'm reading a review of Spires of Altdorf for Warhammer FRP 2nd edition. It talks about how some info on what might happen if you fight, sneak, or interact with the locals in a location, but complains that some of this info is given for mundane places like streets or generic tenements. Honestly, I have other things to think about when I'm running a game, and really appreciate having some suggestions in the location material. One of the things that I loved about City-State of the Invincible Overlord was the suggested encounter for every street. Those things really help provide a sense of what the city is like to live in and move through.

And yes, a generic "dungeon dressing" table like the ones in the DMG is really helpful, but I think that such tables are even better if they're tuned to the specific setting. So, I guess that I'm just disagreeing with one of the frequent points of Joseph "Against the Wicked City" Manola and Bryce "tenfootpole" Lynch. Adventure writers, please keep providing mundane set dressing for us lazy Referees.

*Fine, I give up. It's a dumb spelling, but I'll submit to it. For now.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


We've played a fourth session of the Deindustrial Future game, but I haven't written it up yet. Here's something to tide you over.

Illustration: Walt McDougall, The Salt Lake Herald, February 22, 1903

Seems like an interesting critter. Anyone want to stat it up for one game or another? Feel free to post it here or to your own blog. If you post it to your blog, give me a link here if you wouldn't mind.