PDA

View Full Version : Adventure Building



industrygothica
03-06-2011, 12:21 AM
Here's something I've been thinking about for a while. I wonder what the guild members would think about co-opping a full-blown adventure module--everything from plot elements, npc design, and, of course, lots and lots of maps. I should think that the end result would be something that could rival any professionally published product, given the talent that lives here.

I'd personally like to see a D&D4e product, just because that's what I play and what I know, though there would have to be precautions in place to avoid any copyright snafus. Even still, I don't think that's terribly complicated to do. It'd be really great if we could build one adventure and stat it out for multiple systems (D&D4e and Pathfinder, for instance).

Anyone interested in discussing this further?


-IG

jtougas
03-06-2011, 12:28 AM
That sounds like a great idea. (could give me an excuse for all the writing that I do here.. ) :)

Jaxilon
03-06-2011, 02:05 AM
I've been thinking about this as well. For one I would like to learn more about what all would be needed to put something like this together. I've done some project management in my past life so I can sort of imagine how things might work but there is nothing like the real thing.

I was thinking more of a generic product however that could be used for whatever system you prefer. I'm not sure what specifics would be different for 4E vs say GURPS but it seems like so long as you make the encounters right you should be able to plug in whatever creature details you wanted. Story is story.

Anyway, just saying I think it would be an interesting project. We might have too many mappers though so it would probably be map heavy, LOL.

In fact, I think I sent someone in charge around here a pm asking about any sort of issues we might need to consider if we wanted to attempt such an endeavor here.

I'm cool with creating something that is free but it might be nice if we had a link on it so people who felt inclined could make a donation to the guild to support this community. In which case, it might encourage us to make a few more.

Ascension
03-06-2011, 11:25 AM
I've always wondered why we haven't done it before. Gamerprinter is the only one I know of attempting something like this and he's goin solo on it.

Jaxilon
03-06-2011, 12:51 PM
I thought mearin also was doing something like this too. Also solo however.

Gidde
03-06-2011, 01:48 PM
I'd totally be interested ... and I think we actually have a decent amount of writers around, folks who've joined us to make maps for novels and things. And LOTS of DMs :)

RecklessEnthusiasm
03-06-2011, 04:48 PM
I certainly would want to participate!

industrygothica
03-06-2011, 06:21 PM
What a fantastic response! What do we need to so to get a project like this off the ground?

Ascension
03-06-2011, 07:14 PM
Some stories, maps to go with them, an editor, and an organizer to keep everything together. It might be easier to pick a few maps and have stories written for said maps since we have plenty of maps but few stories.

industrygothica
03-06-2011, 08:21 PM
Ok, let's do this. We can start with a simple regional map, something with a few towns and villages and maybe some other interesting elements. Maybe that'll spur some ideas and then we can dive in a little deeper. I think it'd be great if someone made a new map for this (that is what this site is about, after all), but I suppose if someone had one they wanted to donate, that'd work too. I would think that it would need to be editable though, to maybe add a town here, or extend a river there, as needed to fit the story.

Anyone want to volunteer for that one?

Jaxilon
03-06-2011, 08:28 PM
I would second the idea of story. For starters, if we put some ideas into a hat for concepts we might vote on them and go from there. I would also suggest starting out fairly small as it would be nice to complete the project and I'm sure there will be bumps we don't expect. Maybe in round 2 or 3 we can expand and go ape nuts.

One other thing to consider, is this something we want to connect with the already existing Community World we have? If so we might need to break that baby out and brush the dust off. Of course, if we keep it generic it will be more useful to a greater audience.

Another way to go about this is to have whoever wants to lead one of these submit a 'Project plan' and we can decide which one we want to go with. This would make it possible to have more than one idea going on at a time as well. Especially if we have more than enough man power. The other advantage to a project plan approach is that we can decide ahead of time if it's something we want to help with or not.

The order I create adventures for my home games is typically:

1. A plot (story) for the adventure (I currently have a huge epic story arc as well as small adventure arcs. The adventures arcs are what my players are involved with now and they are barely even aware at this time of the overall Epic arc they are involved in).
2. The main NPC characters of the world or at least the area involved.
3. Maps
(Sometimes # 2 generates more # 3 and vice versa.)

Of course, if we are going to bundle this up into a nice deliverable it needs polish and that might include cover art and other fancy stuff as well as someone who can edit everything to make sure it's made with good grammar and so on.

Jaxilon
03-06-2011, 08:36 PM
The first idea that came to my mind is the typical Caravan story. It could include an overland map at least of regional scale as well as a number of towns along the road. Then we could add maps for bandit attack and other heinous shenanigans. Plenty of maps in that idea but it needs more story. There could even be an attack that leads them back to an underground lair of some type. The sky is the limit unless we are going Science Fiction in which case there is no limit :)

geamon
03-06-2011, 09:28 PM
I'm very interested as well. I think we need to come up with a generic name for the project or an abbreviation to add in titles to be able to organize people and the threads if its not a part of the CWBP. I think we need to draft a list of people interested and organize teams as projects are being detailed. I.E. Let's say with Jax's caravan concept (which I like) a bandit raid along the path would have a story writer/concept writer, cartographer and a publisher/content assembler. It would be the job of the "publisher" of arbitrating any disagreements between the other two and each one doesn't extend beyond their scope. Each member can be a player of a different game system which allows the mini project to be versatile in end result. Additionally as the mini project progresses, people with a certain responsibility can collaborate with other people of like responsibility to establish a standard of style and content. So I'm thinking two to three sub groups at one time working on mini-projects. This is where a main supervisor or team keeps a standard and ensure cohesion in the project with the ability to edit other peoples work. Just some thoughts on structure.

industrygothica
03-06-2011, 09:32 PM
There is nothing that says that we can't use the CWBP as a backdrop of sorts. Any town town we create can be dropped wherever we want it, really. Strange lights and noises coming from a ruined keep atop a fog-shrouded hill in the Thrubmorten Fens? Fey-Gone-Wild in the Beastlands?

Now, while we may use the Thrubmorten Fens as a backdrop, I'd still suggest that the adventure be adaptable "to any swampy region in your campaign." With a link to the CWBP, of course, for those DM's starved for a campaign setting.

And I do agree with starting small... maybe 8-12 encounters or so?

Jaxilon
03-07-2011, 12:42 AM
LOL. Now, let's face it, 8 to 10 encounters equaling "starting small" is pretty amazing when you think about it. And it just goes to show the amount of raw talent power we have at our disposal.

Thinking of modules I bought back in the day, I doubt they had 8 to 10 encounters unless you count each room of a dungeon as an encounter. You just don't seem to get that many maps ya know?

If we do the caravan thing we might want to do some research on something like the Silk road. It might give us some ideas. It seems to me the story will be the harder part.

Gamerprinter
03-07-2011, 02:23 AM
Considering I've been working on adventures intended for publication (I don't have time to get involved in this - I'm just talking here...) I'm working with professionals who write and design fairly quickly. We're creating a full adventure every 25 days, which means 16 encounters. I wrote the intially adventure (all 3) in outline format, so it was loose enough that if development took a turn somewhere it could be accomodated as long as major points in the story got met despite the turn in events. Plus we've tried to include multiple plot hooks so a adventuring group isn't locked in to a linear track of point A to point B. The second adventure in fact (in my trio of adventures of The Curse of the Golden Spear arc) is more sandbox with a region to explore, but one site the party has to be by the end of the adventure. Where they go in between is up to the GM and their group.

Its not easy, though it is fun.

Plus I think its difficult to stay generic - which system is the game intended. What works for D&D/Pathfinder won't work for a magic light system and issues like that. I am also involved (with different publishers) an adventure location that works with OGL 3.5 and Pathfinder - which some would consider to be the same, but its taken a year to make the publication and its not even an entire adventure. Though I think its group dynamics that may have slowed that project down, but trying to accomodate a more generic usable 'adventure' for more than one gaming system has greatly increased the amount of time to develop it.

tilt
03-07-2011, 04:28 AM
I believe that Wizards at some point mentioned 13 encounters as the aprox number of encounters to take you to next level - that of course also include non-combat encounters.
I'd be glad to help as much as I'm able with anything that goes in to the guild coffer ;) ... and although my english is not good enough to be an editor, I have worked as a publisher for several years and a graphic artist making print design (and handling print companies) for the last 15-20 years (who's counting) :)

Jaxilon
03-07-2011, 05:12 AM
What seems to make it so hard to build for a generic audience? I remember back when D&D first came out there wasn't a lot there, you had to specify what monsters you wanted to plug in where and create the treasure to be found. That was a lot of hack-n-slash back then but I never felt hassled by having to load up my own monster stats into the adventure.

Maybe because I have used almost exclusively generic modules (when I bothered with any modules at all) I don't see it? Mostly I have built all my own stuff and so maybe I'm leaving out a ton of stuff because it's all in my head anyway? I wouldn't plan to create a cross reference for gaming systems as that would tend to be hard to do. Instead I would expect Game Masters to know how to stat out an elite guard or whatever as opposed to a grunt. Hmmm, see, now I'm starting to think about audience and that might make a difference. Maybe people are less with it than I would guess? :)

tilt
03-07-2011, 05:31 AM
I think a lot of people expects everything to be present in the scenario so they don't have to look up stuff in books on the side. So when you're attacked by a dozen skeletons and a wight their stats are right there on the page for you to use. But I don't know how the rules are concerning publishing that stuff in 4e (if that should be the system used).
But then again, just because its what some might expect doesn't mean that it has to be so.

ravells
03-07-2011, 07:39 AM
Count me in, this sounds exciting!

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 09:45 AM
I really like the idea of dual-statting everything for D&D4e/Pathfinder. I believe that stats for custom monsters (for d&d4e) can be published, but for existing monsters you'd just reference page numbers. I think it'd be easy enough for a DM to run it in a more generic system if that's what he wanted. I mean, a throng of goblins is a throng of goblins, no matter which way you slice it.

I certainly don't mind doing some of the writing. I'm no novelist, but it's a hobby. Sounds like Tilt is volunteering to put it all together and make it pretty in the end. ;)

Ravs, any project in which you are involved is bound to be better for it in the end. Thanks for coming!


-IG

tilt
03-07-2011, 11:18 AM
putting it together and keeping it together is what I do... oh, and a map now and then *lol*

Gamerprinter
03-07-2011, 01:10 PM
Why can't you easily design an adventure that works for both Pathfinder and 4e?

Simply because 4e map/encounter requirements are different than any other RPG. In an ideal map/encounter for 4e, there are requirements for large combat spaces riddled with terrain obstacles and multiple entrances for additional foes to show up in a given encounter. If you create a typical dungeon map, for 4e its not ideal. A 10' wide hallway is a detriment to a good 4e encounter.

Any map designed for 1e, 2e, 3x, Pathfinder, HARP, GURPS or any non-4e game will work fine across multiple systems, but it won't be ideal for 4e. One can design a map that's ideal for 4e, that will also work with other systems battles - maps have to be designed to meet 4e needs first to work with non-4e systems.

Its why I don't care to play 4e and why I don't design for 4e. Realistic map design is not condusive to 4e.

I'm not saying creative GMs can't work with a non-4e designed map for 4e, its not ideal for the system. And it would hurt 'sales or wide distribution' of your 4e + other system designed adventure to a 4e audience because of that.

I would think it would be far easier to create a Pathfinder + any non-4e game as a multiple system adventure, as long as 4e is not even a consideration as a part of that multiple system adventure.

(I know Tilt, and other pro-4e gamers might suggest that I'm wrong, but I am convinced of the truth in my statements.)

GP

jtougas
03-07-2011, 01:20 PM
Having recently started familiarizing myself with the 4e rules I would have to agree with GP. I also will freely admit I know nothing about Pathfinder, I got as far as 2e in my active playing days and stopped. As far as the caravan idea goes, you can't really go wrong with a classic, especially for a first attempt.

Jaxilon
03-07-2011, 01:47 PM
Well, that's what I understood as well about 4e maps GP. My thought was to create maps that at least have some open areas that make for great 4e battles. It's not like that sort of map is going to harm the other systems. At the same time I don't plan to ever create an underground dungeon with huge hallways because it's so very unlikely. I would have some wide areas however that would allow for huge battlefields and that should work for 4e but I have to defer to other's opinions on that as I am pretty much in the same boat as Jtougas.

Gamerprinter
03-07-2011, 02:32 PM
A map designed for 1e - 3x/Pathfinder would be exactly the same, no special rules nuance that would require anything different. I've designed maps I thought would work for 4e, and basically got laughed out of town.

You could certainly design a map that would be ideal for 4e, that would effectively work with any other edition or game system - but not the other way around.

My preference is to design a map around a story idea, then pick your system poison to play in it. 4e is not condusive to that kind of design paradigm.

I'm not saying this is not worthy of project to attempt, its just outside my own participation or interest. While I don't have the time, if I did, and you were going to do an adventure idea that involved 3x/Pathfinder and another game system that was not 4e, I would let's do it. But to me, the words '4e and Pathfinder' are opposites and shouldn't be used in the same sentence... :P

GP

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 02:40 PM
Like GP, I'd rather design a map to fit the story, not the system. I am 4e through and through, but I'll be damned if I design a 30 ft. wide hallway just to make the controller happy; at some point logic just has to intervene. Being that we're not trying to sell this (at least I don't think we are), that should make it a little easier to do.

I still think it would be a huge mistake not to include 4e stats for encounter elements, regardless of whether or not those particular elements are ideal for the 4e mechanics, or the mechanics of whatever other systems we decide to include (I only suggested 4e and Pathfinder because they seem to be what's hot right now).


Ravs: Thanks for the rep!

ravells
03-07-2011, 02:43 PM
Well, I don't know anything about D&D 4e or Pathfinder, so I don't think I'll be able to contribute to the material.

I can offer to proof read and do rewrites as I work with words for a living.

If we want to kick this off seriously, then we need a project leader(s) (IG?tilt?) to provide an overview of the product and to start doing project leadery stuff like putting down milestones etc, identifying what resources are needed (artists? writers? mappers? proof readers?), what the terms of engagement of all these people will be (free? paid?), and all that other good stuff that I know nothing about!

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 02:48 PM
Well, I don't know anything about D&D 4e or Pathfinder, so I don't think I'll be able to contribute to the material.

I can offer to proof read and do rewrites as I work with words for a living.

If we want to kick this off seriously, then we need a project leader(s) (IG?tilt?) to provide an overview of the product and to start doing project leadery stuff like putting down milestones etc, identifying what resources are needed (artists? writers? mappers? proof readers?), what the terms of engagement of all these people will be (free? paid?), and all that other good stuff that I know nothing about!

Maybe you won't be able to contribute to the statistical elements, Ravs, but you know a good plot line when you read it. In the end, that's what it's all about; story first, stats later.

ravells
03-07-2011, 02:54 PM
Thanks IG. <s>

If we are going to take this seriously, it might be worth having another subforum for it which will be closed to everyone except those involved in the project. Do you want me to float it in the CL discussion forum?

All of this is going to require Arcana's blessing which AFAIK has not yet been received.

tilt
03-07-2011, 03:21 PM
I'm with all of the above.. oh.. is that not possible *lol*

As GP pointed out I play 4e, played all the previous version also (not pathfinder though). I believe however that it is possible to create a good combat map for 4e and keep some realism as well (it is fantasy however so a little fantastic is allright in my book). I'm not a hard core 4e player though, so I'm pretty much glad just to play and I'll use any old map if need be :)

I think a subforum would be nice to do this stuff in - and I also agree with Ravi that we have to run this by Arcana to do this on the guild. However I do also believe that CG pooled together could make cool stuff and I'd glady help lead the project on the way. But lets get the CL forum to discuss it and then lets gather interested people and see what positions people would like to fill :)

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 03:21 PM
Thanks IG. <s>

If we are going to take this seriously, it might be worth having another subforum for it which will be closed to everyone except those involved in the project. Do you want me to float it in the CL discussion forum?

All of this is going to require Arcana's blessing which AFAIK has not yet been received.

Yes, please do. Thanks!

Ramah
03-07-2011, 04:34 PM
I'd also like to help with this in any way I can. I have next to zero experience with these kind of things but for some time I have been genuinely interested in learning and understanding how they are crafted and that's what's important, right? :)

DevinNight
03-07-2011, 04:35 PM
I'd like to help out a bit too. I was going to offer my less used production background to help with the layout and look of the overall project, Tilt beat me to it, but I might find a place as assistant to Tilt or possible if we have two or more projects going I'll layout one, and him another after we establish and overall guideline. Also I have done a dungeon map or two in my time.

As far as system, I am currently running Thunderspire Labyrinth and we are in the Horned Hold, most of the rooms are 20x30 or smaller, some larger... A well designed map will work for 4E and any system. A 4e controller won't complain anymore than say a 3.5 wizard walking into 20x20 room and not being able to cast fireball. It's the same thing.. Some places are meant to hinder large effects and movement while other areas are great for big effects and raging fights. A good adventure will have both.
I vote for making great maps based around solid, fantastic ideas, and making them for the most popular user bases.

Redrobes
03-07-2011, 05:00 PM
I think that this could be a great idea. I don't know how I could help and I am inundated with work as is but if I can comment or lend some expertise or something then just call on it. I did publish a pressed CD in DVD box with artwork though I am not sure i'd want to recommend the way I did it as a template for doing it right (I'll sum it up - I didn't use Adobe products). All I would say is that you need to decide some things before you even start to write or draw. What are you making, how are you going to publish it and through what channels inc licensing - Copyright / CC / PD. If for profit then how ? Using RPGNow and deliver electronically, Ad revenues or go to print and sell physical cos it makes a big difference. If profit then decide up front how its going to be split. And are you advertising through the guild cos yeah I think a nod from Arcana would be required. In short, agree who's responsible for what and have a charter for what your doing before anyone puts effort into it and your all neck deep in the project. Im not experienced enough to know how to do this right but I am mildly experienced enough to know how to do it badly wrong !

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 05:17 PM
To be honest, my original intent was to do this for the love of doing it. The thought of charging anything for it hadn't even crossed my mind. I see no reason why we can't continue to do the things we love while letting the RPG community reap some of the rewards. Why let things like money get in the way and complicate things?

And Redrobes, having the pleasure of owning your ViewingDale product, I can say from experience that it was beautifully packaged. In fact, that's one of the things that impressed me the most with it! So if you did something wrong, I can't even imagine what it would look like if you did it right!

tilt
03-07-2011, 05:26 PM
money doesn't have to be a part of it, I think the idea is just floated that if CG might make a buck of it we could cover some costs and perhaps even sponsor some prices for a challenge now and then :) ... however if we're thinking that we also could do real printed stuff - then money of course is an issue - especially since we'd have to pay up front for the prints unless we go with print on demand. I won't go into quality issues and expenses here though :)

anyways, a nice free pdf thing would be a good starter no matter what :)

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 05:30 PM
Do we have anyone that does any art besides cartography? Like for cover art and NPC's and such?

Ascension
03-07-2011, 06:10 PM
Always need a few good illustrations of dudes in armor and some monsters to put in various places. I haven't done any of that in 20 years so I'm out. Also, haven't played any of these games since 1986. My only real skills have little bearing here (until we have the company baseball/football/volleyball/basketball/etc game or someone needs their psyche examined). There are far better illustrators here and far better mappers and far better managers and far better art directors than I but I'd still like to help however I can...even if it's just as a proof-reader or guy with the eye who says things don't look quite right. At any rate, I'll be in and where ever I fit in is where I'll go.
Here's my early list, some of these may not be necessary right now but will be down the road and some slots might be filled by 1 person (add to the list as you see fit):

Illustrators - heroes, monsters, backdrops, etc
Techies - knowledge of VTs and whatever else is out there that I don't know about
Industry guys - publishers, printers, etc
Game guys - they know the various systems
Managers - keep things organized
Art director or art committee - pick the best stuff and keep things stylistically coherent
Designers - page layout and stuff like that
Project lead - tells managers what to do and when to have it done
Idea men - general all-around thinker types
Writers - make stories, scenarios, plot hooks, etc.
Editors - make sure that the stories make sense and are logical
Proofers - look for typos and grammatical errors

tilt
03-07-2011, 06:21 PM
Ravells has floated the idea in the CL forum and we'll discuss making a subforum as soon as Arcana signs on :)

jtougas
03-07-2011, 08:03 PM
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before in my earlier post but I would also love to help. Obviously there are better cartographers here but I'm pretty handy with plot or adventure hooks :)

Jaxilon
03-07-2011, 08:05 PM
Awesome.

Like your list there Ascension.

If we do end up going with a Caravan idea I was thinking of some adventure hooks that might exist.

For starters we would need some wagon's mapped out I imagine.

So begins my list for entities among the Caravan:
- A Princess who's Uncle assumed the throne after her father died is being escorted under guard to an arranged marriage. She of course does not wish to go through with this. In fact, one of the guardsman (could be a Captain or something) grew up with her family and the two have been in love for years. They plan to escape and make a run for it. Perhaps one day she will return to her homeland and take back the throne. (The story needs built but will the party help them or hunt them?)
- A jeweled Sword is being transported by the Thieves guild (or some other guild). One of the PCs overheard one of the Caravaners saying they saw it being packed up before the trip started but haven't seen it since. It looked valuable, like it might be a King's sword. (Depending on your party they might want to try finding it)
- The sacred Orb of whatchawannacallit, an artifact of some kind, is being relocated to a new temple by a group of silent Monks. What powers does it posses? Perhaps a trader of such baubles will approach the PC's to hire them to steal it? Perhaps the Monks are more than they seem...
- Obviously the ambush:
A Band of orcs/goblins/whatevers attack and manage to make off with something important, maybe one of these items above or even something belonging to the party. Either way this could lead to an underground lair the raiders have fled into.

Ok, that's all I had time to dream up today so if you have more ideas we can add them on. If anyone has another concept by all means toss it out there. My thoughts in kicking these out are so someone can volunteer to work on the backstories for each of the above. That will in turn create characters and plot hooks.

I'm thinking a Caravan could exist for just one of the above but if we think of each entity like chapters in a book, we could have a chapter for each significant group traveling in the Caravan. We could have a pdf called "The Caravan" and Gamemasters could just include as many chapters as they wanted to control the size of the Caravan. Then each night the PC's could mingle around the campfires and pick up details that might pique their interest.

Jaxilon
03-07-2011, 08:12 PM
Oh, and I don't mind trying my hand at doing some illustrating but I'll say right off I think I suck at doing people. Monsters and locations I can probably manage and I could probably do people too but it would take me some time. I sort of feel like a jack of all trades master of none which sounds like a few of the rest of us so whatever is helpful I'm in. I also like to think I am very good in brainstorming sessions as I can sometimes be off the wall which can help generate new ideas. It's all part of my spastic mind. :)

jtougas
03-07-2011, 08:13 PM
Very cool Jax. Now you've got me thinking. How about:

A family caravan that travels together (Father, Mother, Uncles, Aunts, etc) they have been known to do a little thievery from time to time, just small things but enough to draw notice. After passing through (insert town here) the (insert nobles name here) finds his (insert valuable item here) missing. He cannot afford to send his personal retinue after the caravan due to the fact that relations between the kingdoms of (insert name) and (insert name) are failing and every able swordsman may be needed. The noble is of course somewhat shady. The hook would be that the caravan did not steal the valuable item and the party is not the only ones looking for the caravan...

industrygothica
03-07-2011, 08:25 PM
The number of wolf attacks rise when a band of traveling entertainers comes to town. Maybe one of the gypsies is a werewolf, or maybe a disgruntled druid is trying to make it look like it.

industrygothica
03-09-2011, 06:46 PM
Any news on this from the CL forum?

ravells
03-09-2011, 06:51 PM
lots of talk, someone needs to take charge of this project if they want something to happen.

industrygothica
03-09-2011, 07:51 PM
lots of talk, someone needs to take charge of this project if they want something to happen.

I thought we were waiting on a nod from Arcana so that we could set up a sub-forum?

Seems like Tilt is the best one for the job of project leader, though I wouldn't mind being a second if that's cool with everyone. I don't know a lot about project leading, but I do know what I envisioned out of the project when I brought up the idea.

ravells
03-09-2011, 08:00 PM
Yup, still waiting for the nod from Arcana.

JoeyD473
03-10-2011, 12:03 AM
I would also like to get involved. I don't know where you would want or need me, but I am willing. Currently I only play 3.5 and have never played 4e or Pathfinder.

I know this has been said, but the story and map (Maybe not for 4e as someone else mentioned (too lazy to go double check who said it)) can be generalized and then we can create specifics for different systems

I think gothica should be in charge, or tilt if gothica doesn't want to be. It was his idea after all

industrygothica
03-10-2011, 01:39 AM
Indeed. But having an idea and implementing that idea are two entirely different things. As long as we can get it done, I'm not especially concerned with who wears the boss's cap.

RecklessEnthusiasm
03-10-2011, 02:38 AM
IG - I think you're the man for the job here. Boss. :)

Let's get rolling here while everyone is excited.

Jaxilon
03-10-2011, 03:23 AM
Just go with it man, if we run into a bog then we can ask for help. It's not like we're bumping egos, we just want to make some art.

Besides, we can mix it up next time so someone else can have the fun stress of organizing all this :)

tilt
03-10-2011, 06:22 AM
no need to stop brainstorming just because we haven't heard from Arcana yet :)
Maybe if people starts by saying what their competences are, so we can see if all rolls are filled. We can use Ascensions list as a great starting point.

so please say which of the below roles (feel free to choose more than one) you fell confident taking and how involved you'd like to be :) Its ok if you just want to make a single illustration or flesh-out an encounter, but it will be nice to know how much time people are willing to devote to the project :)


llustrators - heroes, monsters, backdrops, etc
- Jaxilon, DevinNight, Djespek

Mappers - all sorts of maps needed
- Gidde(regional), Jaxilon, DevinNight(interior), Djespek

Techies - knowledge of VTs and whatever else is out there that I don't know about

Industry guys - publishers, printers, etc
- tilt

Game guys - they know the various systems
- Gidde, Djespek

Managers - keep things organized

Art director or art committee - pick the best stuff and keep things stylistically coherent
- tilt, Jaxilon, Djespek

Designers - page layout and stuff like that
- tilt, DevinNight, JoeyD473, Djespek

Project lead - tells managers what to do and when to have it done
- tilt, IndustryGothica

Idea men - general all-around thinker types
- tilt and just about everyone :)

Writers - make stories, scenarios, plot hooks, etc.
- IndustryGothica, Gidde, jtougas, JoeyD473

Editors - make sure that the stories make sense and are logical
- IndustryGothica

Proofers - look for typos and grammatical errors
- Ravells, IndustryGothica, Gidde, DevinNight

ravells
03-10-2011, 06:51 AM
Im hppy 2 proof reed :)

industrygothica
03-10-2011, 08:20 AM
I can do a little writing, editing, and/or proofing. I can also help stat the 4e elements.


Im hppy 2 proof reed :)

Funny. In all seriousness, though-- are we doing this in US English or UK English? Obviously I write in US English, but as for the final product it doesn't really matter to me. I'd just hate to see it bounce from one to the other.

Steel General
03-10-2011, 08:35 AM
I'll help out anywhere I can (when I can)...

ravells
03-10-2011, 09:09 AM
Funny. In all seriousness, though-- are we doing this in US English or UK English? Obviously I write in US English, but as for the final product it doesn't really matter to me. I'd just hate to see it bounce from one to the other.

Good point. I think it should be in US English (bigger market). I'll mind my colors and whatnot!

Ascension
03-10-2011, 09:40 AM
I always sorta liked the old timey spellings of things...lends it a bit of flavour.

Gidde
03-10-2011, 09:42 AM
You can put me in the writer column, and I'd be happy to do regional/world size maps, but my small-scale maps are horrid. I'm also good at proofing/etc. Statting isn't my forte, but I've ran games in 3/3.5/4e d&d so i can rule check with the best of em. I also really love designing the new 4e skill challenges.

ravells
03-10-2011, 10:01 AM
I always sorta liked the old timey spellings of things...lends it a bit of flavour.

The funny thing is that US English has kept lots of old English expressions which have fallen out of use in the UK, like 'gotten' - there are others which I've now forgotton. I read somewhere (not sure how true it is) that a US accent is much closer to what an English accent sounded like in the 18th Century (before Received Pronunciation also known as BBC English was used). It is said (again I don't know for sure) that the reason for RP was so that the old money people could distinguish themselves from the 'new money' people who made their fortunes during the industrial revolution.

Anyway, sorry to derail, y'all!

Jaxilon
03-10-2011, 01:46 PM
LOL, we can save ourselves a lot of writing and proofing if we just write the whole thing in Ork or something nobody can read. Just give them a bunch of maps with pages of writing that nobody can read. It leaves the whole project very wide open for interpretation. :)

Joking of course, but it would be funny to watch people's reactions.

-I would like to help out in any of the artistic areas (Illustrations, maps, whatever is needed). Once we get a story line I can read I will see about making up some images.
-I can help with story concepts as well but would like to run anything I put together past an editor. As a Gamemaster who flies by the seat of his pants half the time I'm not sure I want to get bogged down writing a bunch of text. I have a diabolical brain, lol, so if you want to make something heinous let me know.
-I'm willing to help out with the art committee but I believe we have folks here who are more experienced at that than I. Ascension always amazes me with the little detail things he finds for instance.

jtougas
03-10-2011, 02:57 PM
I could help out in the writing area I just started to re-organize my Kingdom of Shendenflar campaign setting so my writing mojo seems to be working (unlike my mapping mojo :) )

Ascension
03-10-2011, 04:53 PM
Ravs, yeah I saw a BBC tv series called "The Adventure of English" (which was quite enjoyable) and the host/narrator guy says that same thing but it was during the Colonial times pre Industrial Revolution. My guess is that current Americanese is about as far away from ye Olde English as is cockney.

DevinNight
03-10-2011, 05:47 PM
In limited amounts depending on my free time and need I can do:
illustration, maps (interior), design-page layout, proofer

If this goes well and we find pretty good chemistry I will probably introduce an idea some time down the road for a a project and be the lead for it.. but for now I'm happy with working on whatever is started.

industrygothica
03-10-2011, 06:18 PM
I just wanted to tell everyone thanks. I can't believe this idea has taken off so well.


So, there's this caravan....

ravells
03-10-2011, 06:40 PM
...in band camp :)

industrygothica
03-10-2011, 07:23 PM
...in band camp :)

And in a brilliant display of athleticism, Seriousness takes a death-defying leap out the window! ;)


Meanwhile...
Option 1: PCs are escorting the caravan, guarding cargo and/or passengers, and are caught in an ambush.
Option 2: PCs receive word that the caravan never made its destination and are hired to investigate.
Option 3, anyone?

Sam Conifer
03-10-2011, 07:33 PM
Option 1: PCs are escorting the caravan, guarding cargo and/or passengers, and are caught in an ambush.
Option 2: PCs receive word that the caravan never made its destination and are hired to investigate.
Option 3, anyone?

It needs a mothership of some kind. Like one with an imprisoned ant queen that can't escape the ship because she already died once and now has no body except for the ship. She could be angry and vengeful or something. Or maybe glib. I like that word :) She could just be having a grand old time with no concern for the welfare of stand up PC's or their caravans.

jtougas
03-10-2011, 08:41 PM
Option 3: One of the PCs receives word that a relative was killed in the caravan. The caravan was carrying(insert valuable items here) and the caravan owner would pay handsomely for their return. (this would be the motivation for the rest of the party) The hook is that the relative was NOT killed (merely captured) and somehow the caravan owner was involved... :)

Jaxilon
03-10-2011, 08:53 PM
Or the PC's could be required to swipe something that was stolen and hidden amount the valuables of the Caravan. The reason it needs to be stolen back is because it would cause panic or an uprising if it were lost. Say the scepter belonging to the King and whoever has it can lead the people or something. Thus, they would be hired and would have to somehow sneak into the most guarded areas of the Caravan in order to get it. Then, perhaps that is when the ambush occurs forcing the PC's to decide if they will help the guards or not. In the end, have the item carried off by the raiders and taken into a large underground location where the raiders live. If they were orcs or something that might be a city of sorts. At any rate, the pc's would then have to make their way into the city and get the scepter back...maybe by then the King of the Orcs would be using the scepter himself and bending the clans to his will. Huh, maybe the Scepter adds a big Charisma bonus or something.

Anyway, you can keep adding on to this if we want to.

industrygothica
03-10-2011, 09:54 PM
The scenarios have been truncated a bit, but I think they are still true to the concept. Any more?


Option 1: PCs are escorting the caravan, guarding cargo and/or passengers, and are caught in an ambush.
Option 2: PCs receive word that the caravan never made its destination and are hired to investigate.
Option 3: Reports say that an important item was stolen from the caravan during an ambush in which someone known by one or more of the PCs was killed. A false report may be a cover-up in an attempt to steal the item.
Option 4: An important (magic) item was stolen and stashed among the goods in the caravan. The PCs are hired to intercept the caravan and discreetly get it back before it falls into the wrong hands.

JoeyD473
03-11-2011, 12:10 AM
I can write, help with plot and plot hooks. I can also help with the designing

As for ideas to add to the plot list, how about:
Option 5: Caravan made it to its destination, but when they got there the cargo was gone and the caravan crew had no ideas of what happened to it, like they blacked out (memory wipe, Doppelgangers (not necessarily meaning the actual creatures) etc. etc.) and the party has to find out what happened

rdanhenry
03-11-2011, 12:35 AM
The caravan is carrying a coded message of great importance. This is hidden in several maps that are part of a cartographical shipment. PCs can be agents sent to steal the maps (or at least get hold of them long enough to uncover the message), or trying to get them back for the government they're intended for after the caravan is waylaid (the bandits probably have no idea of the significance of the maps), or a third party drawn by the cover story used by the government agents that they're off to recover a magic item (which may or may not exist) carried in the caravan.

RecklessEnthusiasm
03-11-2011, 01:19 AM
I love the idea of the PCs getting caught up in something much bigger that was going on under their noses. Anyone played Fallout: New Vegas recently? I found the 'you were a patsy fall guy' plot to be very motivating.

Gidde
03-11-2011, 01:21 AM
Love Fallout in all its incarnations :) And I agree. I love intrigue, it gives a nice refreshing bit of realism to a game that can easily devolve into "I rolled a 19." "Hit. Roll damage."

RecklessEnthusiasm
03-11-2011, 01:27 AM
This is hidden in several maps that are part of a cartographical shipment. PCs can be agents sent to steal the maps (or at least get hold of them long enough to uncover the message), or trying to get them back for the government they're intended for after the caravan is waylaid.

I also like the idea of maps being a important theme: seems they should be if "presented by the Cartographer's Guild." Heck, that could be the name of the secret society.

... several maps printed on thin paper that, when physically overlaid (aligning the mysterious 'Cartographer's Guild' symbol) with light behind them form a message, or a 'true' map to the goal....? That would we a cool thing to physically figure out and do as a player... then again, I love player handouts and manipulatable objects in my RPGing.

They could have to uncover clues to who has gotten a hold of each--collecting each being the step-by-step sub-quests and skill encounters.

I'd love to write and meet a character known as 'The Mad Cartographer."

Jaxilon
03-11-2011, 01:57 AM
Hmm, seems I was reading some story not too long ago about a couple adventurers who were tracking down some maps made by a famous Cartographer. The items they encountered were things like a potion that put a map in their mind and they had to remember it or draw it themselves in order to find the next clue. They had to burn an etched stick that made no sense for the map to display in the smoke. There was a bunch of stuff like that. I can't recall what website I read it on now but maybe it was something on the Kobold site or one of those.

At any rate, it might be cool to do a map in segments that would really need to be overlaid in order to get a useful item.

Item 4 could be bogus in that it wasn't stolen but the person who wants the PC's to "get it back for them". Knows how to use it to gain a bunch of power. In that case, the PC's would then be sort of obligated to deal with this Nemesis that used them. Unfortunately, he'll be really powerful now and very hard for them to deal with. Thus, comes an archenemy for future adventures. The best part is the PC's could have gained that power themselves if they had only done something silly like cracked the orb open or put on the razor wire G-string. <-- LOL, no idea where that came from but I'm cracking up about it and thinking about putting it into my own campaign now. I got some macho guys in my group that would pitch a fit about that.

tilt
03-11-2011, 02:35 AM
Jax - I believe that scenario was on Kobold ... and yes, very cool (mind) maps in that :)

and just to second you all, I love the idea of the caravan cause it gives you the opportunity to put a lot of different peopel with different agendas together in a relatively small space. And there is always the option of people showing up dead every other morning when the caravan is getting ready to move on. *evil grin*

There should definitly be one major plot and then a bunch of small and medium subplots, some tying in to the major plot.

Jaxilon
03-11-2011, 03:01 AM
It also allows a pretty much unlimited side adventures as every group in the Caravan can have their own story. The project could go on and on and on if we keep adding more wagons to the train. It also allows anyone who has an idea that isn't exactly what everyone else wants to do to create it. In the end, the person running the game can decide if that set of wagons are in the caravan or not.

tilt
03-11-2011, 03:55 AM
hmmm... I'm afraid we'll end up with a 400 page scenario *lol*

Jaxilon
03-11-2011, 04:10 AM
Exactly. We will need to limit this at some point so we can do a proof of concept here. If it works then we can add on later if we desire.

tilt
03-11-2011, 04:18 AM
yep.. and I think we have the basic concept in place allready. Now we'll just give it a few days for people to sign up ... and everybody feel free to keep coming with ideas, in brainstorming you can do no wrong :)

industrygothica
03-11-2011, 08:12 AM
In talking about map overlays and such, one has to consider some things. This will essentially require a DM to have the maps printed on some sort of transparent media. While I've never done it, it's probably safe to assume there is a cost, and likely not a small one. Especially for such a map-heavy product as this is likely to be. While it would be great if a DM could print the entire product, I think that producing a product that requires expensive printing may be counterproductive.

Obviously that's just my two cents, but I thought it was worth putting out there.

tilt
03-11-2011, 08:20 AM
I agree with industrygothica, overlay maps would be cool as a handout, but you'd have to have special paper if you don't want to make it to easy for the players to see its supposed to overlay (like when printing on totally transparant media, like used for presentations) - if you print on normal 80 gram (don't know the US equivalent but its what you'd use in your printer at home) paper it is possible to see through it on for instance a window with sun outside ... but since games often take place at night... ;)
Now we don't know if this will be a pdf or print-on-demand scenario yet - but I'm 99.99 percent sure that it wont be a professional printed scenario with the options of cool inlays and stuff - cause that would require printing at least 500 to get a semi decent price, and the guild don't have money to put that up front.

DevinNight
03-11-2011, 09:19 AM
the maps could have obvious places that could be traced with some cheap paper and a pencil, or we could just provide a finished map showing the maps combined, the idea here is that the players figure it out, not neccessarily have to physically do it. (Though that is cool, don't get me wrong) but for our purposes just having the final result as another map the DM can hand out or show would be enough.
If we wanted to get really clever we could design the maps to be combined two ways, a right way, and a wrong way, the wrong way looks right but sends the characters to certain doom. :)

Ramah
03-11-2011, 11:04 AM
Could have a map(s) that when folded a certain way reveal a hidden clue/message. A la Romancing the Stone. Would be easy enough to combine this folding idea over several maps that could be combined I should imagine.

RecklessEnthusiasm
03-11-2011, 04:28 PM
Yes, I had entirely forgotten that lots of people do VTT stuff, so the idea of overlaying maps might not be so appealing...

industrygothica
03-11-2011, 05:54 PM
Maybe we should put our current scenarios up to a vote, and then move on to whatever the next step may be?


-IG

jtougas
03-11-2011, 06:01 PM
Maybe we should put our current scenarios up to a vote, and then move on to whatever the next step may be?


-IG

I'd second that

Jaxilon
03-12-2011, 12:05 AM
Vote for me and everybody gets what they wanted. :)

Actually why not put up a poll of some sort?

Djekspek
03-12-2011, 04:43 PM
eya, just catching up here and awesome thing you got going. if ye guys need yet another person to help with this I'd gladly help. I see many people are already involved so just let me know. I know DnD (as player and GM), can do art stuff and/or layout. Also I could ask my DnD group to do a test-drive of the adventure. Besides this, just some thoughts:
- publish under OGL? maybe check the websites on the OGL to see what system(s) could be supported easily and find out how to reference SRD (stuff like reference to chapters in stead of page numbers etc.)
- my experience is that its hard to smoothly integrate adventure-modules into a custom-campaign setting, so I think some thought on that would be good. So a 'free-slot' for campaign-related hooks may be appreciated by GM's. Also large overland maps may not be required, but a detailled map of some region would be ..
- loads of different groups with different playstyles, some GM's want details and play strictly by the rules, others want 'loose' scenarios with loads of freedom. Also some thought on this when defining the adventure would be good I think. (make the adventure lineair or non-lineair (e.g. different ways to solve it, maybe hack'n'slash but also possible to solve by pure RP-ing, so the GM has options to see how to fit this in best))
- what level should the party be or (if possible) make it flexible to support different level parties.

cheers! DJ

industrygothica
03-12-2011, 05:25 PM
eya, just catching up here and awesome thing you got going. if ye guys need yet another person to help with this I'd gladly help. I see many people are already involved so just let me know. I know DnD (as player and GM), can do art stuff and/or layout. Also I could ask my DnD group to do a test-drive of the adventure. Besides this, just some thoughts:
- publish under OGL? maybe check the websites on the OGL to see what system(s) could be supported easily and find out how to reference SRD (stuff like reference to chapters in stead of page numbers etc.)
- my experience is that its hard to smoothly integrate adventure-modules into a custom-campaign setting, so I think some thought on that would be good. So a 'free-slot' for campaign-related hooks may be appreciated by GM's. Also large overland maps may not be required, but a detailled map of some region would be ..
- loads of different groups with different playstyles, some GM's want details and play strictly by the rules, others want 'loose' scenarios with loads of freedom. Also some thought on this when defining the adventure would be good I think. (make the adventure lineair or non-lineair (e.g. different ways to solve it, maybe hack'n'slash but also possible to solve by pure RP-ing, so the GM has options to see how to fit this in best))
- what level should the party be or (if possible) make it flexible to support different level parties.

cheers! DJ

All fair points. I've always been a fan of low-level games, myself. But it seems that good lower level adventures are always so hard to find. There is only so much you can do with goblinoids and undead, I guess. I guess I was thinking we would do low level on this one and work our way up on subsequent projects if this one went well.

jtougas
03-12-2011, 05:36 PM
All fair points. I've always been a fan of low-level games, myself. But it seems that good lower level adventures are always so hard to find. There is only so much you can do with goblinoids and undead, I guess. I guess I was thinking we would do low level on this one and work our way up on subsequent projects if this one went well.

That sounds about right :)

JoeyD473
03-13-2011, 12:04 AM
All fair points. I've always been a fan of low-level games, myself. But it seems that good lower level adventures are always so hard to find. There is only so much you can do with goblinoids and undead, I guess. I guess I was thinking we would do low level on this one and work our way up on subsequent projects if this one went well.

That's what I thought the thinking was all along

Korash
03-13-2011, 01:46 AM
Man, am I jumping in here waaay late...

Option 6 (if not too late): A rich noble man with a small retinue of men at arms are escorting a small coach(1 or 2 people max) with windows covered joins the caravan at one of the stops. The noble has talked to the Master and asked for and received permission to join the caravan for a short distance. He is escorting his daughter to her wedding and will be leaving the caravan before they reach its final destination. The catch is that he is not noble, the occupant is not his daughter and there is no wedding. The actual reason can be many things, all depending on how gritty you want to make it. Is he a slaver? kidnapper? smuggler? it needs to be decided...

This could also be part of a few of the other suggestions...

tilt
03-13-2011, 03:44 AM
So a quick summary... we still need:

Techies - VT experts, maptools etc

at least a second editor
I'm putting just about all of you on the "idea" list :)
and managers for "Graphics", "Rules checking", "Writers" and "proofers" to help get the stuff together and get people to respect deadlines :)

so, time to sign up guys and gals :)

geamon
03-13-2011, 05:20 AM
I already volunteered but wanted to elaborate my possible role. I have moderate experience as a GM or player mostly with 4e. I find my forte encounter maps and encounter building. I can take a hand at illustrations but unfortunately not the best (Gladly bow down here to anyone who is more experienced/talented). I like being led so tell me what you need me to do or what role to fill and I'll do it.

Korash
03-13-2011, 12:40 PM
I have always played "lite" as GM with rules concentrating more on story so I am NOT volunteering for any crunchy stuff. I think I would be better as a proofer.

I have thought of another point to ponder, which falls under the designer realm I think. Just how gritty a subject do we want to deal with? Also if we want to leave unanswered questions for the GM to flesh out and stuff like that.

Jaxilon
03-13-2011, 01:13 PM
I'll be happy to do maps or illustrations. I have done project management in before but I'm not sure I have the time right now so best if you guys can to let you take it on. I could possibly do a little writing and wouldn't mind it but I don't really know what I'm doing there.
@Geamon - if you want to help out with illustrations just go for it, we'll probably pick out which images to use by committee anyway and the more choices the better. Besides, practice makes perfect.

@Korash - "How gritty"... I'm thinking if we want this to be entry level we should probably keep it that way in both challenge and feel so it appeals to the greatest number of people. However, that said, the idea of Caravan also means there can be side adventures that can be used and these could be as gritty as you like. For instance: While traveling you see smoke on the horizon a little way from the road. Do you wish to investigate? -OR- A bleeding man stumbles onto the road with a tale of heinous carnage nearby. He burps and his breath smells like brains. :( Something like that would be easy for a GM to include or exclude.

PS. I'm thinking we limit this at the start to the 3 or 4 ideas but as soon as we get them complete we could add these other hooks at any time if we so choose.

Gidde
03-13-2011, 07:40 PM
tilt, do we have a master list going somewhere?

ravells
03-13-2011, 08:22 PM
'twould be a grand idea.

Master tilt! Get thee to the spreadheet!

Redrobes
03-13-2011, 10:10 PM
Techies - VT experts, maptools etc I can do first two of the three. If the material is in a form that can be clipped about then I think all VTTs would have no problem with it really. Ultimately, if the whole adventure is web based on the guild then I can do mine with web links to it. Tech is a pretty wide definition tho. At some point people might need to specify what they need.

tilt
03-14-2011, 04:24 AM
This is the latest version of the list of signups

Please say which of the below roles (feel free to choose more than one) you fell confident taking and how involved you'd like to be :) Its ok if you just want to make a single illustration or flesh-out an encounter, but it will be nice to know how much time people are willing to devote to the project :)


llustrators - heroes, monsters, backdrops, etc
- Jaxilon, DevinNight, Djespek, Geamon, Ascension

Mappers - all sorts of maps needed
- Gidde(regional), Jaxilon, DevinNight(interior), Djespek, Geamon (encounter), Ascension, Ramah

Techies - knowledge of VTs and whatever else is out there that I don't know about
- Redrobes

Industry guys - publishers, printers, etc
- tilt

Game guys - they know the various systems
- Gidde, Djespek, Geamon

Managers - keep things organized
... see project Leaders

Art director or art committee - pick the best stuff and keep things stylistically coherent
- tilt, Jaxilon, Djespek, Ascension

Designers - page layout and stuff like that
- tilt, DevinNight, JoeyD473, Djespek

Project lead - tells managers what to do and when to have it done
- tilt, IndustryGothica, Ascension

Idea men - general all-around thinker types
- tilt and just about everyone :)

Writers - make stories, scenarios, plot hooks, etc.
- IndustryGothica, Gidde, jtougas, JoeyD473

Editors - make sure that the stories make sense and are logical
- IndustryGothica, Ascension

Proofers - look for typos and grammatical errors
- Ravells, IndustryGothica, Gidde, DevinNight; Korash, Yandor, Ramah, rdanhenry

Jaxilon
03-14-2011, 04:30 AM
You can add me as a game guy if you want input for the GURPS system. I'm thinking we really need to get familiar with the OGL.

Ascension
03-14-2011, 10:05 AM
You gotta put me in there somewhere, anywhere and I'm cool. Illustrator, mapper, manager, art director, editor, proofer.

industrygothica
03-17-2011, 08:21 AM
Is there any way we can put a poll up without starting a new thread? I don't want to start a whole bunch of different threads without our own sub-forum, but it'd be great if we could get a poll going for our various scenarios so we can move on to the next step.

tilt
03-17-2011, 08:48 AM
as far as I can see we can only make a poll in a new thread :( so in order to agree on the overall story line we'll just have to debate it in here.

Korash
03-17-2011, 11:14 AM
ok. Have we decided on how many senerios we are gonna start with? If the PLs (Project Leads) could tell us that, we could all just chime in on which we think would work best with a number of choices equal to the number of scenerios...

tilt
03-17-2011, 12:05 PM
We'll start out with one - containing a major story arc and a few minor. There should be 10-15 encounters of differing difficulty, some combat some non-combat. And of course cool maps :)

Jaxilon
03-17-2011, 12:41 PM
LOL - I was wracking my brain trying to figure out where a story about a Mayor came from until I realized you mean "a major story arc" not "a mayor story arc". I thought you were just being really vague or something. LOL.

tilt
03-17-2011, 01:12 PM
edited - thanks jax :)

Korash
03-17-2011, 04:49 PM
I thought we were working on a caravan from point A to point B, and we were going to be deciding on the which encounters to add to it. Or are we trying to figure the basic arc of the adventure?

Yandor
03-17-2011, 05:06 PM
I'd be happy to proof read and just poke in and help here and there if need be...

jtougas
03-17-2011, 05:36 PM
I think the classic caravan story line would be great for a first adventure. It opens all kinds of encounter possibilities both combat and pure role play.(which would be my personal favorite)

mearrin69
03-17-2011, 06:01 PM
Apologies for not reading the entire thread through before posting...if I say something stupid please ignore it! :) Will go back and read the whole thing when I get a moment.

The basic caravan story isn't so very original so I don't feel too bad suggesting something from the basic GURPS adventure called Caravan to Ein Arris (which I think is a free download). That one, which is based in a Arabian-like land, starts with a hiring event that seeks employees for the caravan. Guards, cooks, etc. test their skills against one another to see who is best qualified. Of course the odds are stacked in the PCs favor (can't have some one not getting hired) but it's a good chance to interact with NPCs before the adventure begins and a nice way to avoid the "you meet in a tavern where someone approaches you about a job" phenomenon. Might be something to consider emulating.

If I remember, the purpose of that caravan was to escort the king's daughter to her wedding in a far-off city...along with all of her dowry and so on. That's not a bad premise but there are others that would make equally interesting reasons for going beyond just the run-of-the-mill-twice-annual-caravan: maybe a diplomatic caravan, carrying gifts for the government being wooed, or an inaugural trade caravan through a newly established trade route. Of course, maybe the caravan's not all that important in itself...but it's unknowingly carrying the king's runaway daughter as a stowaway or some horrible artifact of the Elder Gods disguised as a small, unassuming jade statue.

Just some food for thought. I don't have scads of time these days but I'd give a shot helping out if I can. If this is taking place in the CWBP I've got to suggest that it start out in Argria (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8176-Region-1-Map-27-Town-01-Argria) (which I need to finish) and travel west through the barbarian lands! ;)
M

Edit: BTW, on system compatibility, I'm no expert but I think that making this Pathfinder compatible would be legally easy. Just include the OGL. I reckon it could even be sold to benefit the Guild (I know that's not the point). I think that 4E compatibility is more difficult. Don't know the details but I think you sort of have to sign a lot of stuff away (like your ability to make OGL-compliant content) to participate in the GSL. GURPS is out of the question...I don't think SJC lets anyone make stuff using their system (which is odd, because they really don't focus on adventures and such).

industrygothica
03-17-2011, 06:20 PM
Option 1: PCs are escorting the caravan, guarding cargo and/or passengers, and are caught in an ambush.
Option 2: PCs receive word that the caravan never made its destination and are hired to investigate.
Option 3: Reports say that an important item was stolen from the caravan during an ambush in which someone known by one or more of the PCs was killed. A false report may be a cover-up in an attempt to steal the item.
Option 4: An important (magic) item was stolen and stashed among the goods in the caravan. The PCs are hired to intercept the caravan and discreetly get it back before it falls into the wrong hands.
Option 5: Caravan made it to its destination, but when they got there the cargo was gone and the caravan crew had no ideas of what happened to it, like they blacked out.
Option 6: The caravan is carrying a coded message of great importance. This is hidden in several maps that are part of a cartographical shipment. PCs can be agents sent to steal the maps (or at least get hold of them long enough to uncover the message), or trying to get them back for the government they're intended for after the caravan is waylaid (the bandits probably have no idea of the significance of the maps), or a third party drawn by the cover story used by the government agents that they're off to recover a magic item (which may or may not exist) carried in the caravan.

My vote is for #4 as a main story arc (Find the missing item). Except that when they encounter the caravan, it has already been ambushed and some of the passengers are dead or dying (moral dilemma: chase the bandits or help the injured). Of course the cargo has been stolen (continuing the main plot), and some passengers have been kidnapped (extra credit for recovering them all).



-IG

jtougas
03-17-2011, 06:25 PM
I like that basic idea M. It's different enough to be interesting. I particularly like the starter. If the PCs were immediately engaged with the NPCs it would get everyone "into" it that much quicker. I know we have a ton of scenarios already but here's one more. The caravan is bringing desperately needed weapons, aid, etc to an embattled region of a kingdom embroiled in a civil war (or something similar) Obviously this means that there will be plenty of opportunities for encounters along the way along with the possibility of the PCs "changing sides" which would open up all new adventure ideas (even if they didn't they would surely make some enemies along the way.. ) :)

Korash
03-17-2011, 11:09 PM
Yeah, I like #4 best as well.

If they are long enough, caravans often had merchants heading the same way join up and leaving when they got closer to their own destination. Perfect cover for a thief to join, acquire the item and leave. Be it the Party trying to get it, or the rival/rivals (there need not be only one) the situation is ripe for red herrings too. Was the Item stolen before or after the PCs arrived, or if we use the caravan already attacked scenario, before the attack.

Like I said...I like #4.

***EDIT***
#6 would be a great way to Highlight the mapping capacity of the Guild, but seems too ...... self serving ...?

#1 sounds more like an encounter as opposed to an arc.

#5 I really do not like published mystery adventures. Either they are too vague to use as a ready adventure, or they are too detailed to fit in a campaign without a lot of work

Jaxilon
03-18-2011, 02:37 AM
Option 4 is good as the heart of the adventure - We can add on other things if we want to as well in the form of additions to the Caravan as have been mentioned.
Option 6 would be fun to put together as well just due to the mapping but it would have it's complications as well.

It might be good for us to use the KISS method here (Keep It Simple Stupid) since we are still working this all out. Let's not get too nuts on our first outing or we might find nobody wants to try again. :)

industrygothica
03-18-2011, 08:32 AM
Option 1: 0
Option 2: 0
Option 3: 0
Option 4: 3*
Option 5: 0
Option 6: 0

With all the people that are wanting to take part in this, there are plenty of votes left to go around still. Tilt, maybe we give it another 24 hours or so?


-IG

Ascension
03-18-2011, 09:34 AM
I like #3. #5 is kind of M. Knight Shyamalan but it would be my second.

Jaxilon
03-18-2011, 12:38 PM
Actually, on looking at this again I like 4 combined with 3. Thus, the party will find out about it but then have to chase it down.

jtougas
03-18-2011, 02:12 PM
It may be a bit self serving but my vote is for 3 (although a combination of 3 and 4 would also be interesting) Honestly I don't think we could go wrong with ANY of them :)

Djekspek
03-18-2011, 03:21 PM
My vote is for #4 too. Of course, after the party retrives the item, it is found out to be worthless and that the party was used to by some evil guy in a greater scheme to ensure the caravan didnt reach its destination in time so he could get a stash of money from his insurance company ;)

JoeyD473
03-18-2011, 03:35 PM
My Vote in Priority Order, 6, 5, 4

I like 6 as first choice because even though it is self serving (As mentioned before) this is the Cartographers Guild so have an adventure all about maps is just a no brainer to me (Though a little more work for our mappers)

I like 5 because it opens up more possibilities in the future if this adventure is successful and we want to do another one..Also, because it was my idea

4 is good, not quite as standard as 1, but still not off the beaten track

Gamerprinter
03-18-2011, 04:24 PM
While I don't have time to participate in this project being so busy and all, I have to agree with JoeyD in the aspect that lots of maps may seem self-serving, but we as the Cartographers' Guild have that edge in being able to produce lots of maps for a given project, easier than other 'competitors' might be able to do - and that is certainly a worthwhile addition to any 'adventure product' that we produce.

Consider that while Kaidan, my setting, fits my heritage and genre aesthetic, my project includes an over-abundance of maps, since I can produce many appropriate maps, quickly and thus creating a product that few other pubilshers can match. So my publications are self-serving in the inclusion of maps - just because.

In RPG publications, art is the most expensive freelance aspect to game publications. And maps, are the most expensive component in freelance art, because not only do the maps have to be aesthetically pleasing, but they have to be accurate to the publishers needs - so cartography is both artistic and technical, moreso than normal illustration. Because its easier for us to produce maps, than other publishers its an edge worth pursuing, something that pleases those who use our projects, and something that those without our skill can't afford to compete with, especially since our possible adventure products would be free.

Normally a publisher is paying anywhere from $50 to $150 per map. Most adventure publications including writing, editing, art and maps have budgets between $1000 and $2000. Writing often comprise half of that, so the remainder has to pay for everything else. At $150 per map (for example), 5 maps is $750, which leaves only $250 for cover design (which often is $100 to $200 by itself) leaving only $50 to $150 to cover all other expenses - so publishers tend to have only 1 to 3 maps in an adventure as that is all there is in the budget.

If a CG adventure product has 10 maps, there is no way a real publisher can afford that, so a CG adventure has a better value with more maps, than other publisher projects.

My first adventure for my Kaidan setting has 14 maps in it. Nobody can compete with that, since I'm doing the maps, I don't require $150 each, I earn a split in sales profits and make plenty more money than what a freelance commission alone can earn. My products are 'self serving' for the same reason that Guild adventures should be self-serving in this project.

Does that make any sense?

Michael "GP" Tumey

mearrin69
03-18-2011, 04:45 PM
Totally does to me. My adventure has *lots* of maps (done by me)...along with a few pretty good pieces of artwork (freelanced) and handouts/props (done my me). The maps and handouts were cheap (dollarwise, not timewise) for me but I think they give my product an edge over many others produced on the same budget. Not trying to brag but I think the maps I'm including are pretty darned good, better and more plentiful than a lot other peanuts level publishers can field.

So. Don't short the adventure on maps. Put in lots. GMs love maps. Players love maps. Hell, put a map on the cover...it *is* an adventure about a journey, after all. :)
M

Ascension
03-18-2011, 05:35 PM
Once the votes are tallied we're going to need to be crackin on the cover, writing, and either selecting some maps or making some maps. Illustrators need to get their thinking hats on or maybe do some roughs for the leading vote-getters. Writers need to begin an outline for the leading vote-getters. If we don't have any maps that fit then we the mappers need to begin thinking about what sort of style they want to do and layout their roughs as well. Some folks could be working on those little miscellaneous page things like shield/sword with page number on it, scroll/banner with some text on it, celtic knot border or frames (well not celtic knots for this one but the proper flavor for the setting, etc.

industrygothica
03-18-2011, 06:04 PM
Option 1: 0
Option 2: 0
Option 3: 2
Option 4: 5*
Option 5: 0
Option 6: 1

I'm all for having lots of maps, that's why I suggested the idea here. I don't particularly like the idea of having a puzzle of maps, however. The level of cooperation that would take to pull off, imo, is kind of an unnecessary stressor for our first time working together. Again, all my opinion, but it is what it is.


-IG

Ramah
03-18-2011, 08:08 PM
I'd go for 6 I suppose, although my vote should carry little weight as like I say, never played these things.

Put me down for helping with the mapping too. And maybe proof reading.

ravells
03-18-2011, 08:15 PM
I'm with the crowd pulling for a 4.

Jaxilon
03-18-2011, 08:52 PM
I kind of agree with IG - I love the idea of the puzzle of maps but maybe we can take that on in our second installment.

To be honest, I hope this all works out well and I hope it brings some money into the site which will help cover the cost. I would hate to loose this place, it's my favorite place on the net and has been for over a year now.

btw - we really do need a subforum don't we? Every time I see "option 1 - 6" I have to page back to page 12 I think it is, where those are explained.

Gamerprinter
03-18-2011, 08:54 PM
Puzzle maps are too complicated and becomes a separate game to RPGs, so, I'd agree with IG on not using maps as a secret code - I'm not an RPG puzzle fan anyway, I prefer action to puzzles.

jtougas
03-18-2011, 08:58 PM
I'll start working on some outlines of a story idea for the top options as they stand now. I should have something by tomorrow morning.

Djekspek
03-18-2011, 09:15 PM
Agree with Jax, for managing the process and uploading docs and stuff efficiently, we would need a seperate subforum I think. Then again, forum-tools are not very good for managing these kind of projects. Maybe someone maybe has some wiki-like thing we could use to upload and review stuff. I think there's many free wiki-sites, or maybe the CG site host already supports this? cheers, DJ

tilt
03-19-2011, 03:39 AM
woah... one is without a web connect for a day and suddenly the thread is 40 posts longer *lol* ... great though :)
I'm with the general concensus on 4 ... and look forward to seing what jtougas comes up with :)
and great idea with a map for the cover - thinking perhaps some collage with a caravan superimposed... of course I can't do that ...
I've asked Arcana to make a subforum for us, but I think that Djespek brings up a valid point - perhaps a wiki-type page would be more fitting. I don't know if the guild system supports wikis as well ... if not a free site outthere, or perhaps google docs or some such?

rdanhenry
03-19-2011, 03:56 AM
I will provide editing, from proof-reading up to discussion of how to improve organization/presentation and specific ideas, as time may allow. I can also provide some assistance with some game system specifics, but I think the idea is to get an adventure written first, then worry about seeing how many systems it can be translated into. Also, I can throw in some ideas, but I doubt that I'll have the time to work them into detail.

industrygothica
03-20-2011, 07:36 PM
I'll start working on some outlines of a story idea for the top options as they stand now. I should have something by tomorrow morning.

Just checking in to see how this is coming along... need anything?

jtougas
03-20-2011, 08:01 PM
Just checking in to see how this is coming along... need anything?

Sorry for the delay RL got me. (my daughter has been sick) I was thinking that we could use the following (or some version of it) as the "Adventure Background" I'm leaving it generic as far as locations go unless we decide to put this somewhere specific. I know it isn't much but I am working on it as time allows :)

Option 4: An important (magic) item was stolen and stashed among the goods in the caravan. The PCs are hired to intercept the caravan and discreetly get it back before it falls into the wrong hands.


Thandon Delan couldn't quite belive he had done it. It was his first succsessful theft as a member of the guild and what a theft it was. The "Cup Of Kings" was a valuble almost sacred item to the royalty of the kingdom, and to think it was left just lying about in a room in the castle that wasn't even guarded. The trust the king had for his people was legendary if not in this case misplaced. Delan knew what he was supposed to do next. The city was a hub of trading activity. Caravans entered and exited the city almost constantly. These caravans carried all sorts of goods ranging from the mundane to the exotic. He was to hide the cup on a specific caravan that would be leaving the city tonight headed for a destination where the new owner of the cup was waiting. All the details had been handled. The caravan had been carefully chosen for it's route as well as it's personell make-up. The owner of the caravan would have no idea that he was transporting an item dear to the heart of the king. This caravan also carried no guards which was important even though the guild had bribed the senior guard at the Maingate, caravans without guards weren't usually searched. The guild had planned for every eventuality. and Thandon Delan would be paid handsomely for his task…..

jtougas
03-22-2011, 05:11 PM
Ok got some time to sit down and write a outline. I haven't put any names for locations or characters as I assume we will want to discuss that. This is very basic but I think it's a good frame to build on. Let me know what you think :)


In this adventure, the PCs must retrieve the "Cup of Kings" and return it to their employer. This must be done discreetly as word of the cup's theft cannot leak out to the public for fear of political damage to the king.

The king is old and kind. however he is also ineffective. He simply cannot see that some people do bad things. He trusts his people implicitly.

The PCs employer is the kings steward. He has great affection for his king but is very aware of his shortcomings. He is also convinced that something has been done to his ruler to change his personality.

The PCs must recover the "Cup of Kings" and return it to the king's steward. The king must never know of it's disappearance. This should be done as discreetly as possible.

The "Cup of Kings" is an ancient magical device given to the current kings ancestors hundreds of years past. It helps the kings of this land make wise decisions and protects them from mind altering magic as long as they are within it's range.

The city thieves guild is just an agent of the person(s) who want the cup. They were hired to steal it and get it out of the city.

The person(s) who want the cup cannot travel into the city as they are bitter enemies and would be attacked or imprisoned on sight.

The caravan is simply that a caravan that travels between the major cities of the kingdom selling goods and providing various services. The owner is a middle aged man that descends from a long line of caravan owners. His family often accompanies him on his travels as they have on this trip.

The Kings steward can be of help determining where the cup has gone. The kingdoms Archmage can track the cup in a limited sense enough to know that it is leaving the city on a caravan.

The PCs should attempt to retain employment with this caravan. They could serve as guards or as general labor. The caravan rarely carries anything of great value and has little need for protection in most cases.

Unknown to the PCs (and the caravan owner) a thieves guild plant has been employed with the caravan as a driver. This persons task is to see that the cup makes it way to it's destination. The PCs will discover this during their journey.

The cup's destination is a city controlled by a rival to the king. The ruler there knows that with the cups assistance he can invade and destroy his enemy. The cup is not "attuned" to one specific person and can be wielded by anyone. As a relative to the king the cup is (he believes) likely to be that much more effective.

The ruler of the city feels slighted as he is not a direct descendant of the current royal family. He feels he should be king. He has made several attempts to seize the throne by various means in the past all of which have been thwarted by various agents loyal to the king.

If the PCs succeed in retrieving the cup, they will gain a powerful friend in the kingdom that can help them during their careers.

If the PCs fail (or switch sides) they will gain a powerful enemy in the kingdom although most likely the rival ruler will take the throne and reward the PCs in some way. The agents loyal to the king will never stop trying to unseat the usurper and punish the PCs for their duplicity.

ravells
03-22-2011, 05:58 PM
That's very good! It all hangs together realyl well.

Djekspek
03-22-2011, 07:35 PM
thanks! looking good so far. 2 question that come up
- why the thiefs guild that operates in the kingdom would steal this importat thing (usually those guilds dont want too much trouble in their 'area of operations' and losing this artifact may change their world and they may lose a gullible king...) , or do they also have a hidden agenda?
- why would the party help the king? is there a reward other then eternal gratitude? hehe, my group would probably steal the cup and become kings themselves ;)
cheers, DJ

industrygothica
03-22-2011, 08:02 PM
It seems like there needs to be a more immediate and discernible change in the king's behavior, something to raise a red flag, so to speak. I understand that the king is wont to see only peoples' positive attributes, but it seems like that is more of a character flaw that was exploited in order for the cup to be stolen, not a result of it having already been.

What would happen if the PCs were hired to track and catch up to the caravan, rather than seek employment on it? To me, it seems that if they were to encounter the caravan before it left town, all they'd have to do is perform a quick search to retrieve the item and call it a day.

However, if they were tracking the caravan and found it to have been sacked by an unrelated band of monstrous humanoids, it quickly turns into a race between the PCs and the King's rival to find the item before the (orc/goblin/troll/whatever) king realizes exactly what it is he has accidentally stumbled upon. This would also make this adventure more appropriate for lower levels, as surely any king's rival worth his weight in salt would be significantly tougher a challenge.

Is this making any sense at all?


*EDIT* I do think Djekspek has a point. What if it were instead a guild operative working outside the purview of the guild itself? It could make for an interesting side quest in bringing the offender back to the guild to face charges.


-IG

geamon
03-22-2011, 09:15 PM
Also with your suggestion IG you can create a track the item situation which I always find fun. We can even create 2-3 different options on where the cup was taken to and the PC's can track it to the location or to the wrong destination which they end up failing when time runs out on their search.

tilt
03-23-2011, 07:04 AM
sounds really good. We're about to get our little corner of the guild to work in ... soon :)

jtougas
03-23-2011, 02:16 PM
Those are all good points. I was hoping for some discussion on this :) I really like the track the item idea as well. :)

As far as the thieves guild goes, I have always ran "thief heavy" campaigns I tend to have a different take on what thieves will and will not do for money. I was thinking that in this case someone high in the guild hierarchy would have a secret agenda in regards to the item. (possibly being a relative of the "bad guy") or being promised a position in the new government. (it's always easier to rob the people legally after all)

I think I kind of jumped past the kings "behavior change" and it would be better if he had a personality alerting event after the item was stolen. I think I can do something with that.

RobA
03-23-2011, 04:16 PM
This is the latest version of the list of signups

Please say which of the below roles (feel free to choose more than one) you fell confident taking and how involved you'd like to be :) Its ok if you just want to make a single illustration or flesh-out an encounter, but it will be nice to know how much time people are willing to devote to the project :)


llustrators - heroes, monsters, backdrops, etc
- Jaxilon, DevinNight, Djespek, Geamon, Ascension

Mappers - all sorts of maps needed
- Gidde(regional), Jaxilon, DevinNight(interior), Djespek, Geamon (encounter), Ascension, Ramah

Techies - knowledge of VTs and whatever else is out there that I don't know about
- Redrobes

Industry guys - publishers, printers, etc
- tilt

Game guys - they know the various systems
- Gidde, Djespek, Geamon

Managers - keep things organized
... see project Leaders

Art director or art committee - pick the best stuff and keep things stylistically coherent
- tilt, Jaxilon, Djespek, Ascension

Designers - page layout and stuff like that
- tilt, DevinNight, JoeyD473, Djespek

Project lead - tells managers what to do and when to have it done
- tilt, IndustryGothica, Ascension

Idea men - general all-around thinker types
- tilt and just about everyone :)

Writers - make stories, scenarios, plot hooks, etc.
- IndustryGothica, Gidde, jtougas, JoeyD473

Editors - make sure that the stories make sense and are logical
- IndustryGothica, Ascension

Proofers - look for typos and grammatical errors
- Ravells, IndustryGothica, Gidde, DevinNight; Korash, Yandor, Ramah, rdanhenry

OK-

If I didn't bollux things up there should be a new forum category "Adventure Building" with a private forum called "Caravan Adventure". To see/post in it you need to be in the group "Caravan Adventure".

I've put all those above into that group, so you should all be able to see/post in the new forum.

Tilt is the group Leader and can approve (along with any of the CL's, I think) any requests to join this group.

Can someone please confirm they can see this new forum properly?

Once confirmed, we can move all "Caravan" email to that forum from here.

-Rob A>

Ascension
03-23-2011, 06:43 PM
I see it just fine, but I'm a CL so we need some non-CL input as well.

industrygothica
03-23-2011, 06:54 PM
I can both see and post in it.


-IG

geamon
03-23-2011, 06:56 PM
I can as well.

jtougas
03-23-2011, 07:13 PM
I can see it and post in it as well :)

Aegeri
03-24-2011, 03:48 AM
God it took me too long to see this thread! If there is still interest in having people help, I would like to assist with encounter and monster design for the adventure from a fourth edition Dungeons and Dragons points of view (this is pretty much my bread and butter expertise in 4th edition). If I'm a bit too late then I wish you all well and I hope the project is a great success :D

tilt
03-24-2011, 03:52 PM
if you wanna join Aegeri, go to your settings page - and go to "permission groups" and ask to join the caravan adventure :)

NeonKnight
03-24-2011, 04:07 PM
Ummm...I cans do mapping, i.e. combat encounters, dungeons, buildings etc.

tilt
03-25-2011, 05:03 AM
yeah NK - join the fun :)