Tabula rasa is the philosophical belief that every player enters your game stupid. And if you don’t want them to stay that way, you’d better learn how to use your scene-building knowledge to manage information.
Let’s travel back to a bygone era when the modems were measured in bauds and the online role-playing games didn’t have any graphics and discover how old The Angry GM actually is and how much of a massive nerd he is. Oh, we’ll also learn the basics of designing RPG scenes.
Every adventure needs a beginning. Yeah, I know, it’s exactly that kind of brilliant insight you can’t get anywhere else. So, let’s talk about opening scenes.
Branching adventures are the most common types of adventures. And that’s good, because they are often the BEST adventures. Let me teach you how to do them right. As a bonus, I’ll empower you with bottlenecks and ballooning pyramids. Just don’t think about trees.
Open adventures are woefully misunderstood. Many GMs think they are a panacea for all of your gaming ills. But they aren’t a balm for everything, they require careful implementation, and they aren’t an excuse to skip having a structure.
Linear adventures are woefully misunderstood. They seem simple to design, but they aren’t. And they seem like they should suck, but they don’t. Stop calling them simple. Stop calling them railroady. Maybe YOU’RE simple and railroady!
Did you know adventures come in different shapes? It’s true! And, if you’re going to make your own adventures, you’ve got to get them in shape!
If you ask most GMs what the most important part of an adventure is, they’re going to tell you that it’s the backstory. And they’re wrong. Backstory is one of the least important parts of the adventure. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it completely. It’s just a matter of doing it right.