What makes a great RPG adventure?

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NJPigBard
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What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

Heya, denizens of the Troll-verse! 1st time poster, long time geeker :D

Recently I was lucky enough to be one of the few attendees to the Troll-guy's Trollcon East out here in NJ (please don't judge me) and I have to admit, I had a hell of a time. The guys really backed up their product with enthusiasm, know-how and light-hearted gaming that made it fun for everyone.

I've been thinking about the various gaming nights since the con ended and I was struck with something odd that I've never considered before when I set out to write my own adventures; the complexity of simplicity. Steve, our CK, undoubtedly constructed for us (or had pre-written) a crazy adventure, full of mischief, mayhem and bloodshed. Mixed in with the obligatory eating of a bard's face (cough). But for the most part, due to our limited time together, Steve charged our band of adventures to find a town and get a boat. And that was it! FIND A BOAT.

It's only just dawned on me how incredible this concept was. I'm sure like most of us, I've spent weeks maybe months constructing a story for characters that involved twists, double-crosses, hidden rooms, ridiculous monsters, etc. And, yea, all that stuff is fun, but I never really fully appreciated the idea of making the main task of the group so simple. With such a simple goal, the main challenge became the interaction of our characters, the navigation of the terrain and, again, face-eating.

And so, rambling, aside, I toss my questions out to the Troll-verse; what's something that you've found that makes an absolutely incredible adventure. Whether you've written it, played it, seen it, heard about it. What's something that made you want to come back and play again?
"I use Lord Hamelot to detect evil." "...oink"

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

Apologies for the long-windedness, everyone.

Shortened post: What elements make an adventure enjoyable for you (play or make) And Im not looking to steal ideas. Just an open forum topic. Dat's it.

If it helps, Ill get the ball rolling.

1.) Always find it helpful to interview (oh yea, its that official) my players to get a feel of what they like when they play. Really helps to see what people are expecting and play to their desires in an adventure.

2.) The Scooby-Doo mystery RPG :) Seriously, I always get a kick of multiple NPC's being suspects in my story. Classic who-dunnit styles. Or if you just want a total clusterfunk, I recommend the "Murder on the Orient Express" style of story writing.

3.) A page right outta the Troll-guys book, but playing on the fly. Being open to player suggestions make things so much easier (and again shout-out to the Troll guys for being so liquid in their CK-ing. Battle Lutes all the way.)
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Breakdaddy »

I think the best games I've played in and that have kept me wanting to come back for more have been the ones wherein the GM had made us feel like the world was plausible. I think the biggest part of that was descriptive flavor text. Even short little bits can go a long way towards making the game not feel like a mechanical slog through dice-land.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

@BreakDaddy

Hey, thanks for the post.

Yea, actually a buddy of mine was saying the same thing. Whenever he DM's/CK's he usually makes sure that, if asked, he's scripted out additional details for

*Look
*Temperature
*Smell
*Touch

Though I suppose most of that could be done on the fly (I honestly don't think about smell all that much, but it's a great addition.) If you don't mind me pickin your brain some more, what aspects of a game have honestly ruined it for you?

And for all new readers, what aspects of a game have made the game or perhaps what's been done in the past that ruined a game for you?
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by serleran »

Things that ruin it...


1) too much detail. Give me what is needed -- if I want more, I can ask. Or, as the DM, I am allowed and encouraged to invent.

2) too much story. I would rather not think my character's adventuring is "preplanned" or that I have no choice in what I do.

3) too much focus on one thing. Sure, spending 3 hours buying meat from the butcher might be fun... once. That does not mean I want to do it again. Ever.

4) too serious or too comedic. Tough one, really, as I think every game needs a bit of both and the level of acceptance depends a lot on the game played.

5) immaturity. I did not sign up for Fist: The FATAL Experiment.

6) lack of "shining moments." Every character has something they're supposed to be good at doing. That's sort of the point of archetypes.

7) repetitive. Oh, another 10 x 10 with an orc. And pie. This one is cherry. Wow. Ooo, an empty room. Except for the rhubarb pie.

8) too heavy or light on resources. OK, great, we killed a kobold... reward: treasure trove of the Gods! Or... yay, an age 12 gold dragon vanquished... 3 copper pieces?

I'm sure I could come up with more things or variations on these.

Basically, if its not those, its probably fun. Maybe.

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Zudrak »

NJPigBard wrote:@BreakDaddy

Hey, thanks for the post.

Yea, actually a buddy of mine was saying the same thing. Whenever he DM's/CK's he usually makes sure that, if asked, he's scripted out additional details for

*Look
*Temperature
*Smell
*Touch

Though I suppose most of that could be done on the fly (I honestly don't think about smell all that much, but it's a great addition.) If you don't mind me pickin your brain some more, what aspects of a game have honestly ruined it for you?

And for all new readers, what aspects of a game have made the game or perhaps what's been done in the past that ruined a game for you?
As DM/CK, I try to remember I am responsible for what the players sense. So, I attempt to convey what the PC's see, hear, smell, taste (even in the air at times), touch, or feel - the five senses plus the 6th sense, such as when things don't feel right.

I haven't been a player all too often, but a CK that is more concerned with being "the boss" or his pride than having fun would ruin it for me. Also, players that socialize too much so that it takes away from the game ruins it.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Rikitiki »

Yes, simple "missions" in a game can allow folks to really role-play since they're not overburdened with minutae. But 'simple' doesn't mean the CK leaves out descriptive stuff (5 senses, etc).

My most memorable playing experience was this:
a) my character got framed and hauled into jail (simple, yes?)
b) the party broke me out of jail, but weren't seen doing that, so
c) they were hiding me from the law until we could get off the ISLAND(!!)

Whilst sneaking around the town, we discovered a caged unicorn in a
basement and, naturally, felt compelled to rescue him too.

How did we get off an island that was actively searching for me, an
escaped criminal?

Simple: we (with the unicorn) walked in broad daylight down the main
street to the dock and boarded a boat (True! Of course the HOW of
how we managed that was what made it memorable).

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by alcyone »

An RPG adventure is great if I remember something that happened in it. Though, usually, this is almost nothing to do with the adventure and everything to do with something someone in the party did that caused a chain reaction of awful/awesome dice rolls, misguided attempts to do zany things to fix the problem, and someone dying at some point. As a DM I appreciate the story, the descriptions, the careful plotting, but as a Player, honestly, I don't remember that stuff. I remember the stupid and funny things we tried to do. Not for the sake of comedy, mind you, nothing is more boring than a table full of people trying to be comedians, just the goofy stuff that comes up because you are in a world with silly constraints and rules.

So if your adventure allows such things to happen, within a structure typical of its kind, I am pretty sure I'd like it just fine.

I was watching video of TC East, of one of the games Steve was running, and I noticed he was usually laughing about what the players were doing, getting semi-serious when it was time to make a roll or apply a mechanic here or there, but overall keeping it light. He probably could have been running anything and as long as the players weren't hostile they would have fun.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

@serleran Some excellent, points, I really appreciate the input. As always, I guess balance is the name of the game. However I do worry that being so invested in the story (that I typically create) that I may not be so willing to let players "go" per se, off on their own tangents. I'm always happy and totally willing to allow them to incorporate new ideas, tactics and plays into the game itself, but there are several times when I worry that their idea of the gameplay will send them too far off the path I have pre-constructed for them (and I know, that's a horrible word, but at the same point I want to make sure they realize what the end-game/goal is)

@Zudrak Very much agree about the players that socialize too much. I'm all for a terrific time but I do expect a particular level of dedication and drive from my guys (though anyone who saw/listened to the podcast from TCEast and saw Steve laughing at lot, I'm sure 9 times out of 10 it was my shennanigans that kept him off course. And I apologize if you were playing in any of those games and you just wanted to smash my face in with a C&C book)

@Rikkitikki I honestly want to hear that story :shock: It sounds awesome!

@Aergraith Very true. And honestly when you said it, I realized I'm in that same boat (not remembering all the over-the-top descriptions and events but rather the table talk and occasional "awesome roll/move.")

I suppose a lot of this can boil down to the particular responsibilities that are understood for each participant (know your player's abilities, know your duties as a DM/CK, work with the group for an established goal, etc.).

Here's an odd tangent for this conversation; (and, again, thank you very much for everyone that's read through this conversation and commented on it. I really do appreciate it), how important do you feel miniatures are for your campaigns? Anyone have a preference over strict paper and pencil, table top maps and tokens, miniatures, etc.? Add to the adventure? Detract?
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

Gah! And quick apology to Rikitiki for butchering his name with too many "K"s. Sorry!
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by alcyone »

I go back and forth on minis. I'd sort of rather I didn't have them, because people tend to focus on the tabletop and stop talking about what they are doing, and they probably miss out on lots of things that I might let happen from a description but don't work exactly right on the map. I never see a 100 yard longbow shot on a 30x30 map of 5' squares, because they can't see that far. Rooms seem bigger without maps too. It's easy to keep rooms separate. With maps, you are always trying to explain why the goblins 20' away didn't hear them come in, even though they are in the next room and the door is open.

I usually do use minis though. I have several game mats and a ton of D&D minis, which I mostly use for PCs, and I print out a lot of the Fiery Dragon counters for the monsters. I sometimes blow up and print out maps from modules. Very rarely I'll use a fancy map. I don't often, because then everyone nitpicks about the artistic details that have been drawn on it. C&C doesn't have detailed rules for grid play, but if you require them they are easy enough to steal from the D20 SRD. You probably don't.

If I can't be bothered with the maps, and everyone is cool with it I sometimes just have a small dry erase board and sketch things when people need to know what's happening. If I am not using any map at all, I still scribble locations on a sheet of paper for myself when there are more things happening than fit in my head.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

@ Aergraith

True. And the Troll Lord gang did the same thing for a recent game I was in (dry erase-grid paper, actually) and it did help a lot. Thankfully, though, the group that was playing was the creative type (and pumped full of carbonated beverages) so imagining the landscape wasn't that tough.

And in terms of mapping out the game play, the miniatures and the grids helped a lot.

Has anyone here ever been a part of a STRICT paper+pencil game before? Whether you are a gamer of yore or just tried it for the experience? Pros Cons? Aaaaand discuss.

...and Dr. Pepper is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by finarvyn »

Defining what makes an adventure great is hard, since each group handles things differently. Here are some random thoughts:

Great adventures are a lot of fun to play. Sounds dumb to write this because it's so obvious, but fun can be simple or complex, low level or high level, intellectual or critter-bashing. When players are engaged it's fun.

1. The rules have a big impact. If GM and/or players spend a lot of time trying to look up rules, the game isn't so fun. This can be a function of the game system or a function of how well everyone knows the game system. I find 4E not so fun becasue I don't feel comfortable running it. I love C&C because I know it well. Doesn't mean one is "better" than the other, but C&C is a lot better for me.

2. Players want to do stuff. I've been in games that resembled a novel with the GM reading to us. Boring. Players want to roll dice, make decisions, kill stuff, whatever. Doesn't matter so much if the characters are high or low level, as long as they have things they can do.

3. Variety. The tenth consecutive dungeon crawl isn't as much fun as the first one. Dungeons one time, wilderness another, city adventure after that. Maybe some fun on the high seas. Kill monsters one time, figure out a puzzle another time. Mix it up.

So, my answer is that there isn't one single formula for a great adventure.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by finarvyn »

NJPigBard wrote:Has anyone here ever been a part of a STRICT paper+pencil game before? Whether you are a gamer of yore or just tried it for the experience? Pros Cons? Aaaaand discuss.
I'm not entirely certain how to answer that. For decades I've ran games without miniatures (almost all of them, in fact) but somewhere along the line we hit a critical point where things get interesting. I typically pull out a blank sheet of paper, scribble out a quick diagram, and place dice or tokens on the page to represent characters. "Okay, mage you're the blue d4 and the cleric is the bottle cap. The white d6's are all of the orcs and the red d12 is the dragon..."

In general I find that minis slow things down a lot so I avoid them, but in a critical moment I don't want me describing things in a way that is confusing to the players and them feeling cheated because they imagined it differently than I did.
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by serleran »

Miniatures are great... for board games like Hero Quest, Zombies!!! or Warhammer Quest. For my role-playing, I prefer to keep them elsewhere. I do not think miniatures really add anything to the game, and many times actually decrease the enjoyment by turning an "ordinary encounter" into a micro war game.

However, if I had enough of them, and all the terrain I could want, I would definitely use them... I think that would be fun, half of it just in setting the scenery.

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Rikitiki »

Re: how my wanted character and our party and the unicorn got off the island --

a) we grabbed some black drapes and tassel cord from the hotel upstairs,
b) drapped the unicorn with them, wrapping his horn so he looked like the
medieval decorated horses you see in tournaments; so his horn simply
looked like ornament on a regular horse,
c) roped me face-down over his back,
d) did a funeral walk down the main street,
e) when the commander of the guard and troops showed up, our female
magic-user did a STELLAR role-play, weeping and crying out loud about
the death of her poor, poor husband....who "Died of the plague!"

Oh, yes...they quickly backed off and were very, very happy to see us get
on that boat and leave the island... :lol:

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Rikitiki »

Re: miniatures --

I use them and a Chessex battlemap. First, 'cause I love painting miniatures, so why not use 'em? The players get a kick out of choosing one that best represents their character. And marking out rooms, areas, outside terrain, where-the-chest-is, where-the-dias&throne-are, etc, helps me visualize as well as the players.
Case in point: many times when an archer has missed his shot, having the minis there helps players realize why somebody other than the target got hit on that missed shot.
I've also got some 1" clear cubes - if folks are levitating/flying, just pop the
mini atop the cube -- same for invisibles.
<shrug> I find them handy and helpful, your mileage may vary. ;)

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Just Jeff »

NJPigBard wrote:2.) The Scooby-Doo mystery RPG :) Seriously, I always get a kick of multiple NPC's being suspects in my story.
I'm a firm believer that there's not enough fraud in high-fantasy worlds. ;)

What makes a great session for me is great character moments, which as often as not means my PC surprises me. My longest running PC had great moments come out of sessions that were all conversation and sessions that were almost all battle, sessions that were simple and sessions that were mind-numbingly complex, sessions where he was far more skilled than anyone he came into conflict with, and sessions where he spent almost the entire time running for his life. Good times.

I prefer not to use miniatures, but if its the only way for the GM and the players to be on the same page about what's happening, miniatures it is.

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

...Im frickin in love with this entire conversation. Thanks to all for posting! Keep the magic alive!

@ finaryvn It doesn't sound dumb. Its slightly awkward when you say something like that out loud, perhaps, but I get the gist of what you're saying. And I agree that C&C rules are far easier to pick up and play than D&D (you're right, though, we aren't really debating the preferences over shortfalls of either design) and that being able to quickly understand your PC abilities makes the game clip along at an enjoyable pace (though I am both terrified and excited after reading through the Illusionist's abilities to 'convey healing' in that you can make the other players BELIEVE they are being healed so, in actuality, they DO recover HP...huttah!)

@ everyone (?) So I'm gathering a general weariness towards miniatures? Again, not trying to defend one style over another, I'm just curious as to the preferences of other RPG travelers. And its funny that it was mentioned several times that minis can in fact detract from an adventure because the mini you use in no way reflects your understanding or design of your character ( since my name and my infamy came from my infatuation over my designated mini carrying a pig under his arm. So, yes, I too have succumbed to the dangers of minis :) )

@ Just Jeff Yea, I think that's the general consensus here; that minis help to organize a game but shouldn't, for the most part, be a crutch. Same with pre-constructed maps. I've tried running a couple games with pre-printed maps and the detail of the room is either lost and ignored by players or overly critiqued to the point that the game ground to a halt.

And, it should be said, that games like C&C and D&D are fun because they call upon a more imaginative section of the mind for all of us. I appreciate being able to imagine the look, feel, and detail of a room in my mind as well as the creatures inhabiting it. And, without sounding like too much of a jerk, I think such mental exercises make the players and participants a more creative and intellectual bunch (for the sake of imagining scenarios, creatively solving problems, using team dynamics to solve problems, etc.) NOT that we should be snooty arseholes about it :shock:

What about depth in an adventure? Preferences over plain and simple (get to the goblin strong hold, rescue the princess, get the gold) vs. depth beyond belief? (if you have a cleric in the room, he can scan for evil, detect the ancient runes, tell the mage to case a fireball in the fireplace, open up a secret room, talk to the lammasu whose hanging out reading a book, gain arcane knowledge, chant the magic phrase, use the portal....you get what i mean) :lol:
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Rikitiki »

"...depth in an adventure?"

I'd say there's 2 kinds for me --

I try to go for depth in my relating to the players what they see, hear, smell, etc.
(Keeping, of course, to that fine line where there's enough expostion to pique their interest, but not so much that I'm droning on and on.) They'll
ask questions for anything else as we play. ("So, what color is the smoke?
Can I tell what kind of wood is burning in the fireplace?" ...and so on)

As far as setting up depth in the adventure before my players even start
playing it:
a) I do a pretty simple write-up -- usually just bullet-point main items,
plot hooks, etc.
b) Then, while CK-ing/running the adventure, I pay attention
to what my players are saying at the table -- many a time, someone
remarks on an area or speculates about the possible motive(s) of an
NPC, etc, and if it sounds reasonable to me I'll jot a note and, sure
enough, wow!, they find their suspicions were right later on!
(I've had folks searching a room for a secret panel and, even though
I didn't originally design the room with one, I made one up on the
spot with a minor treasure behind it -- seemed reasonable to me.)
Sure, they don't know those pieces weren't in the adventure originally
(and I DON'T tell them), but boy does it help sweep them into the plot
when they find out they "figured it out".
(Keeps my workload down, too)

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

Heya, Riki

Apologies for the gratuitous use of "k"s last time.

Yea, and Im sorry for the vagueness of my last question. The second part of your response is what I was after (in regards to how much work ahead of time do you put in)

I brought this up because Ive read some pretty meaty story set-ups, that delve into the ancient lore of a stronghold, temple, church, etc. and goes into 20 layers of meaning behind the runes you could find, or perhaps if you journey at a particular type of day at a certain time of the month (not meant to be a period joke!), you may encounter a strange beast who, if persuaded, may lead you to a hidden tract of land where, etc etc etc.

I'm the first to acknowledge that my understanding at this point of D&D and C&C lore is woefully inadequate to even possibly consider such connections could be made. Altho having read more story adventures and campaign booklets, I realize how much CAN go into an adventure but honestly 9 times out of 10 no one in my party would ever consider to ask such questions or suggest such a course of action ("Hey guys, the moon is 3/4 full tonight SO, if we find some dried cranberries, a mushroom that only grows at the base of witch houses and a toad that has been bathed in the blood of a calf, we may be able to combine those ingredients and construct a potion that could summon a gigantic praying mantis!...or make really sh*tty scones.")
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Joe »

Hot chicks and long swords!

My favorite stuff like unique mushrooms and books of lost lore seem to get ignored. I gave a player 2 different books that would have revealed weaknesses about the enemy had he ever bothered to research them.

So yeah, in adventures I think the fluff is for the gms reading enjoyment and goes past the average game group un-noticed.

Action is what I see drives an adventure.
Don't just place a trap but have the attempted dive to avoid the trap actually lead to a worse trap.

Or have the trap intitiate a combat in the midst of a remove traps event while the thief is trying to concentrate send a few arrows over his head.

Or if your really clever...have the plot instead of being spoon fed like these linear path/plots have the players themselves initiate and drive the action. I ran an impromptu prison break session that was all player driven. The action was crazy and the gm was reacting to the action rather than spoon feeding bored players.

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by finarvyn »

Joe wrote:So yeah, in adventures I think the fluff is for the gms reading enjoyment and goes past the average game group un-noticed.
[rant]
Speaking of un-noticed, what's the advantage of color artwork and/or color maps inside a module? It's not like I'm gonna show that stuff to the players.

If maps are included for GM use, they don't need to be really fancy. If maps are included for player use (to place minis on or whatever) they can look nice but shouldn't be surrounded by text in the middle of the module. Make 'em seperate so I can place them on a table for the players to look at.
[/rant]
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by serleran »

Regarding the amount of time spent planning a session... I would have to go with around an hour a week, if that, and then mostly its finding a map (if I want one) and maybe rolling up hit points for the monsters. Even that I don't do often... letting them die whenever it seems most interesting to the game. For example, I had a kobold shaman take 10 hits from the party before he flopped, leaving the group to think he is one serious mofo but really, I was just having fun throwing out some new spells at them to see what would happen. Most of "prep" time is spent answering questions from the players about this or that. I did recently have to create a massive treasure hoard so that took some time -- the game is coming to an end anyway, so I no longer really care what the players have / get as long as they like the end. So far, it seems they will... if they can destroy the city.

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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by ArgoForg »

finarvyn wrote: [rant]
Speaking of un-noticed, what's the advantage of color artwork and/or color maps inside a module? It's not like I'm gonna show that stuff to the players.
Short answer? To grab your attention in the FLGS as you thumb through it and make you that much more inclined to plop down you cash or card for it. :lol:

I actually do like lush color maps and art in my modules. Those maps tend to show a depth, clarity and level of detail that I find lacking on many (not all, but many) black and white maps. That and good art shows me a publisher really put out the best quality product he/they could muster. And while think the same effect can be achieved with good b/w and tonal art, good greyscale maps and a good layout, you'd be surprised how many swing-and-a-misses I see throughout the indie presses.

Heck, there was a lot about the b/w layout of even a great book like the 3rd print of C&C that makes me grit my teeth when I open it, and it has some downright beautiful art. Thank goodness for 4th Print!

EDIT: Sorry for the threadjack!
- "I just happen to prefer games where the GM actually has final say on rules and is not just the wall to roll dice off to decide what happens."

MWG
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by MWG »

Great RPG sessions, to me, have to include a good back-and-forth between the GM and the players. Both parties should be feeding off of each other, not serving as antagonists to each other. As a GM, I feed off of what the players can give me. I build future encounters, NPCs, setting elements, and stories off of what they give me. It gives them a sense of ownership to the game. I've found that if I don't give that opportunity, the game stagnates and dies.

Everything has to be flexible...character concepts, encounters, bad-guy motivations...so we can all play off each other. Sometimes, we have to allow something just because it would be awesome if it was there or it happened.

We let our personal egos go. If the PC's just came up with a way to destroy by Big Bad Guy in one round of combat, and (here's the important part) it was awesome, the we let it go.

(This happened in my Star Wars game last night...the PC's had a Quentin Tarrentino moment, got the drop on my big bad boss, and wiped him out in a round of combat. It was done so cool, I couldn't argue it. If it was just a boring, "I roll, I hit," then I may have stretched the combat out a bit, just to be interesting.)

Minis: it depends on the game. For my Star Wars and Conan games, we've found that mapping out the combats helps a bit...especially with the volume of bad guys on the table. We have fun with them, and don't let them dominate the game experience. When I run Call of Cthulhu or Delta Green though (for example), or any kind of horror game, I'll never map anything out. Combats there are just as much about mood as they are about victory conditions (sanity loss just feels less important when you put a mini of a Nightgaunt on the table). Plus, without a combat map, the players feel like they can change the combat settings around a little...they can take some ownership of the setting and the encounter. The final result is an awesome encounter everyone can remember.

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NJPigBard
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

yes...more...MORE information!

Again, thanks to all who have been willing to share their views on constructing a great RPG adventure. And thanks to those people who have been reading this dialouge since the beginning. And if you have read but NOT contributed, feel free to weigh in!

There are no stupid comments, just honest ones...unless they are like REALLY stupid :mrgreen:

Here's something I've been meaning to ask everyone; just how immersed to you become in your game? Stephen from TLG graced my local hobby shop a while ago and, lemme tell ya, when that guy CK's, he is INTO it! I mean he was up demonstrating attacks, putting on voices, setting ambiance with differences in vocal pitch, several instances of "mysterious talking styles" (which was fantastic by the way :lol: )

So how "into it" do you let yourselves get? Anyone here rock a total 180 from their real-life personas? From the amiable desk-jockey to the COMPLETE d-bag rouge? Or perhaps the quiet, introspective postal clerk to Grag-Nor: The slayer of dragons and lover of well-endowed warrior women? Just an example...I am not a Grag-Nor type 8-)
"I use Lord Hamelot to detect evil." "...oink"

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NJPigBard
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by NJPigBard »

Not to not seem like a timid poster, I will happily admit that my C&C Illusionist has become a soft-voiced, slightly effeminate, "wiggily fingered" trickster for some reason. To hilarious consequences, of course, and playing him allows me to unwind from my day and really just laugh at myself. But Ill happily admit, being able to just decompress and be that odd (while still making sure the game progresses in a timely manner) really makes me enjoy the game more.

Couple weeks ago he wound up getting chummy with a prison torture guard. Thankfully my CK didn't push the guard to "make magic happen." :shock:

Not that there is anything wrong with that...
"I use Lord Hamelot to detect evil." "...oink"

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Joe
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Joe »

MWG said, "Great RPG sessions, to me, have to include a good back-and-forth between the GM and the players. Both parties should be feeding off of each other, not serving as antagonists to each other."

Word...word...word!

Not sure why but many gamers do not get this.
I can tell you more about bad game sessions though than good.

I also think the GM MUST allow for each player that wants, to take the spotlight at times.
I notice there are different sorts of players that bring different agendas to the table.

"role playing" a certain character is fine as long as it does not turn into a narssicistic (spelling?) indulgence. In other words each player must be allowed room for self expression but that player should make an effort so that it contributes to the game and the group as a whole rather than detracts from it.

That's all about having the right chemistry and right people at your table.

Too many times I have seen folks indulge their own selfish agenda at the expense of the group's fun as a whole.

You've all seen it:

The thief that steals and undermines everyone else. When he is confronted he says, "Geez I'm just roleplaying my character."

The "evil" pc that steals and undermines...please see above.

The player that has to disrupt the relevant action going on so that they can have all eyes on them as they "roleplay" some self indulgence.

The young kid just a little too immature for the group that does all kinds of disruptive "in game" stuff for his own entertainment at the expense of the group.

Or the control freak GM that sets up a world so "perfect" that the pcs cannot seem to do anything, or the GM that somehow thinks its his job to undermine the players and ultimately kill their characters and unwittingly, his own game.

I am seeing a common thread here:

Self indulgence vs. good group chemistry.

With the right group the magic just happens. :D

So that being said I would imagine any module could be a great adventure if everyone is one the same page and cooperating toward a fun shared experience.

Hot chicks and long swords always help though.
So does a game pace that seems to "flow". I improvise much of my games so its always hit and miss when I run.

What I have noticed is that a certain level of player immersion, emotional investment with the world, and an opportunity to allow for player ingenuity and improvisation, allows for great adventures.

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Rikitiki
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Re: What makes a great RPG adventure?

Post by Rikitiki »

How deep into the game do I get when I CK?

Doing different voices, mannerisms, facial expressions, turns-of-phrase for each NPC encountered? CHECK!
Physically swinging, dancing, or moving to show how monsters and NPCs act or attack? CHECK!
Have my NPCs and my dungeon areas morph/change/react/act in response to what the players do and what the players suspect/plan/table-talk (what they dig, what they fear) to keep the game exciting/entertaining/humorous? CHECK!
Toss in elements (NPC or structural) every so often that have nothing to do with the main plot, both to keep the players involved and which, depending on how they play those, might become future side-adventures, etc? CHECK!

Hey, from when I first started playing D&D (1979), I'd explain RPGs to prospective players, etc, as: Street-theatre in your living room! YOU get to be Merlin, or Conan, or Fafrd, or the Grey Mouser. How cool is that?

So, yeah, I took my own advice...and still love getting into the game.

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