Designing the Design

Some discussions have erupted in places I frequent regarding adventure design. I find the discussion fascinating, especially since I have recently struggled through preparing two adventures for publication – one in the Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart and the second for the successfully Kickstarted Nefertiti Overdrive.

My biggest problem with adventure design is that my natural tendency as a GM is to use minimal prep with a page or two of ideas/resources and let the game go where it will. This does not a good published adventure make. My GMing has diverged dramatically from a course that allows it to work as a foundation for designing adventures for publication, and so such design takes a lot more time, effort, and thought that it used to.

I’ve folded much of what I use to direct games in an improvisational nature into my game design. Nefertiti Overdrive has both Drivers and Pivots, two signposts that tell me what my players want to include in a game. If someone’s Pivot is to find a brother’s murderer, that subplot needs to make an appearance every now and then – which is frankly awesome, because it allows me to weave a character into the metaplot in an unexpected way. “Your brother was working for who?!!?” If a character’s Driver refers to protecting the innocent, you know there are going to be some doe-eyed children threatened somewhere along the way.

It makes it easy to just throw out an opening scene and go.

Advancing through the foliage

In The Foliage by Dean Martin

I don’t think anyone is going to pay any kind of money for a published adventure that does this.

I will be publishing some adventures – along with some new systems – in the near future, so I need to put together the notes and resources I used and try to come up with an elegant and simple way to present the adventure to an audience.

This could be interesting.

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