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30 Days of Gamemastering: Part Four

October 5, 2013

Today’s blog post is a continuation of the “30 Days of Gamemastering Challenge” over at Triple Crit.

Do you use pre-published adventures or write your own?

I have done both. But because I tend to use home-brewed settings, I have to adapt pre-published adventures to fit my world. Actually, working on the adaptation helps me really get to know the scenario and forces me to think about changes that need to be made within it, rabbit-trails that my players will probably follow, etc. I also create my own adventures as well, usually in a sandbox or scenario style. Sometimes I need the pre-published adventure to spur my creativity. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or inclination to make my own map. I think I’ve probably had the most success with my own adventures, simply because, with them, it is much easier to improvise outcomes when the adventure goes off the rails. At any rate, both styles of play have their pros and cons, but I tend to fall on the side of making your own adventures whenever possible.

What do you think? Modules or home-brew? What’s been your experience? Feel free to comment below!

From → Tips and Tricks

  1. I prefer home brew campaigns. I ran a great Serenity campaign last year using a unique system. I like to treat campaigns like tv shows. I find an album by a particular artist that fits the theme of the game and I use the sing titles as the title of the episodes and the lyrics for inspiration for each episode. I then rearrange them as I see fit to allow for story flow. Each session is then encapsulated within one evening, with the prerequisite series two-parters that take two nights. Thomas Dolbys Map of the Floating City provided a launching point to find an actual floating city in the form of the arks left back towards the Earth That was.

    Another system I use is to theme the campaign as a series of books. With a number of books equal to the number of players. There is an overall story arc, but the plot of the individual books is focused on one character with subplots for the others. Each book is made up of chapters, which like the music example above represent a single session or night of gaming. I usually have about 6-8 chapters per book and it works out really well.

    • That sounds pretty dang awesome. Very creative! We also did our Serenity in episode style, but sometimes my single episodes took more than one session.

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