Sunday, August 1, 2021

RPGaDay 2021 #1 Scenario

 Like some sort of nerdy groundhog, I emerge once again to try to tackle the annual RPGaDay blogfest. Let's see how long it takes me to see my shadow and hide out for another year.

The first prompt this year is Scenario.

"Scenario" has a couple of meanings. The most common definition is an outline of a plot, so it's very natural that it would be used in the gaming hobby as one of many synonyms for "adventure." But scenario can also mean a potential or expected sequence of events, which is actually closer to how I build adventures when I run a game.

It's common to think of RPG adventures as semi-scripted plots that your characters get to star in. Many modern adventures are written with that sort of thinking. They are relatively linear stories where taking this action leads to this place where this happens.

But my own process is rather different. Like I said, it's closer to that second definition of "scenario:" an expected sequence of future events. This typically means that I write the story of the villains/antagonists of the story. I decide on their goals and methods, then I try to find a thread that I can place in the PCs hands that can unravel the whole thing if they follow it.

One of my "Laws of Gaming" is that "The story that comes out of a session is more important than the story that goes into it." Having the story that goes into the session be about people other than the characters reinforces this nicely.

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