We are writing scenarios.
I have one on my desk that has to be ready for the 20th of the month, while my brother is busy reading through the Ultima Forsan1 handbooks to check a few facts for a scenario he’s outlining.
Now, having discussed long campaigns in Savage Worlds a few days ago, here’s some idea about one-shots scenarios.
I can’t of course speak for my brother, but when I try and dream up a one-shot scenario, I have a few items on my list
- the scenario has to truly stand alone
but it should be easy, should the keeper wish, slot it into a larger ongoing campaign
it should start in media res, dragging the players in the story from the first moment
it should feature a certain number of scenes, possibly each in a different mood (and not just a different style)
Now, when I used to write scenarios for my own team… well, I basically did not write them down.
I just jotted down a few notes, scrawling a few post-it notes I would then paste inside the covers of the rulesbook.
And it works.
But writing for third parties is different.
And despite my list up here, I generally find it pretty hard to design proper scenarios – my ideal format is something with a general premise and introduction for the keeper, a timeline of events that will take place no matter what the players do, and a list of NPCs, each with a capsule description including
- what the character wants
what the character fears
what the character is willing to do to get wherever they want and avoid whatever they fear
A closing remark listing possible outcomes, ideas for sequels and XP rewards guidelines might also be a good idea.
This sort of structure works for me, and has never been rejected so far – but I wonder what people prefer out there.
Fast and loose or highly detailed?
Open-ended or funnel-shaped?
The comments, as usual, are open.
- and yes, I am writing a full ↩