Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch

Crafting RPG Adventures from Scratch Whether you’re writing a one-shot for a convention or an adventure for your home campaign, sometime between when you wrangle a group and when you start playing, you have to create said adventure! There are many components that go into roleplaying game adventures—encounters and maps, non-player characters and stat blocks, the list goes on—so beginning to tackle all those things at once can be daunting. By popular request, I’ve turned my method of crafting an RPG adventure from scratch into a step-by-step process you can bring to your own prep routine! The following...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 2

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 2 Day 2: What’s your one-sentence premise? Story and setting. In the introduction I wrote that you might not even have a story idea yet, or you might have several and you’re not sure which to stick with. There are lots of interesting ways to generate premises. One easy way is to ask yourself what book you would be most excited to read, or to make a list of your favorite things about your favorite novels, and mix and match. You could also review old journal entries or notes and see if you can combine them into something that captures your interest. Ask...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo If you’ve been here before, you’ve likely seen my 30 Days of Gamemastering Challenge. Another topic/event near and dear to my heart, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, deserved to get some novel writing prompts of its own. NaNo is a wild ride in which you try to write daily and complete a fifty-thousand word “novel” during the month of November. Some of you who have done NaNo before also know that October is considered by some to be “National Novel Prep Month,” or NaNoPrepMo. The idea behind NaNoPrepMo is that...

Day 24: Canon vs AU vs Homebrew Settings in RPGs

Day 24: Canon vs AU vs Homebrew Settings in RPGs At this point in my GMing career, I’m convinced that basing your role-playing game campaign in a pre-existing setting is just as hard as creating your own from scratch. (Unless, of course, you’ve already taken it upon yourself to become an expert on the topic, but even then there are bits of trivia to remember, opinions to consider, sources to reconcile, etc.) Running games in an established setting is a shortcut for finding players, but you’ve still got to do your research, be respectful of the correct timeline, and play by the rules. As cool as...

How to Write a LARP Scenario Part I: System and Structure

How to Write a LARP Scenario Part I: System and Structure Googling “writing a LARP scenario” or “larp scenario design” returns a number of great lists of scenarios for download and some good articles on theory, but nothing like the solid GM advice that you would find if, say, you wanted to know how to write a campaign or encounter. Lacking a rough outline or method, I’ve been forced to look at the scenarios and LARPs I’ve participated in and try to deduce guiding principles and processes from there. This series of articles is an attempt to help fill that gap with my own trial and errors....

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