Monday, June 29, 2009

Triggered Encounters Campaign Style

While I normally don't like the flowchart way of doing campaigns, I think it could work really well with the encounters from D&D4. Whatever choice the players take, you have a properly scaled encounter. And because it is so easy and fast to create encounters, you can plan a lot of choices for the players.

I realized I don't like big dungeons that much, because the order in which you grind through the locations is often very anti-climatic. So smaller dungeons make much more sense, as you do meaningful choices instead of heading in a random direction. You could for example go by accident to the boss monster first and miss some mystery.
Obviously you can steer players by locking certain parts of a dungeon and requiring them to find a 'key' (could be basically any object or person), but this is used so often in computer games and the free style of RPGs should offer many solutions to problems for players.
An other option would be to mix a location based design with flowchart elements. For example the boss is not waiting in a certain room, but appears whereever the PCs are, when a certain condition is met. That sounds like an interesting concept.
Bad, cliche example: the villain appears as soon as the PCs found the hidden artifact he could not recover himself.

It would also make sense to describe what happens if players make an extended rest at a certain point. (E.g. support for the enemies appears, some treasure is carried away, people starve, etc.)

At the moment I am split between setting up a Aventuria Albernia campaign and one were elves and orcs are brutal predators. Maybe I can combine both.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Raven c.s. McCracken After Synnibarr

Today I found the geocities webpage of Raven c.s. McCracken, the designer of Synnibarr. His tracks on the internet seemed to be lost for a couple of years. The last thing we had heard of him was on an infamous MySpace site about "exotic dancing" from 2006.

It's a pity Geocities will be shut down later this year, so you should have a look on his page right now!