Author Topic: One hour prep guide needed  (Read 3140 times)

Undreren

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One hour prep guide needed
« on: December 06, 2012, 09:16:11 AM »
Hi all

I'm having difficulties creating adventure outlines in DW. My problem is not finding a basic idea, but rather limiting myself so that I do not shoehorn my players into certain actions.

I really enjoy loose and open ended play, and I don't want the players to feel railroaded. I'm afraid to make them too loose though, since I have some bad experiences GM'ing these kind of plots though.

My question is thus: Do any of you have a "step by step" guide for creating dungeon world adventures that take only about an hour? The adventure should be playable in a roughly a 3-4 hour session.

We are playing tonight, but we're in no rush, since I just looted "The Indigo Galleon" from the main page. It seemed fun :)
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com

Aaron Friesen

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 03:27:21 PM »
All I do is make a front. Usually takes about 20-30 minutes, unless I want to make custom moves or monsters. Then it reaches around an hour to an hour and a half. Then, only set the stage, don't prescribe action.Basically just make an interesting situation that threatens  the PCs in some capacity.

sage

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 05:24:37 PM »
Fronts are really how you make an adventure in DW!

Before the first session just don't worry about it. At most think of some general idea of a problem for the players to be involved ina tomb to be looted, raid to be made, attack to repel, whatever.

After the first session, make fronts, as described in the fronts chapter. They should provide the fuel for future sessions! Just keep updating them as appropriate.

In general, the GM agenda, princicples, and moves take a lot of what a typical adventure might otherwise cover. You don't need to get down every detail, those can come in during play.

Making fronts takes maye half an hour. Less if you think of cool ideas while you're in the shower and just jot them down when you have a free moment.

mease19

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 07:01:39 PM »
Check out The Shallow Sea on the DW website.  If you like that style of first session prep, I have a readme file that goes with it, which explains the logic of the format and how to put one together.  Let me know if you want the file.

zmook

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 07:34:54 PM »
Personally, I find it helps to have a little more than just what's in Fronts:  the cast of characters and their motivations is a good start, but I find it also helps a lot to have a map (if it's a dungeon crawl) and a list of some interesting treasures.  Also some monsters with their moves, and an idea of what they're doing here, and probably a trap or two.  You probably don't need full room descriptions like in a published module, unless you have trouble making that up on the fly -- just put in the monsters and treasures and traps when it seems appropriate.   These things can be re-used from session to session, too, whatever the characters haven't encountered yet.  The idea is to just to make sure that you don't draw a blank when the players are looking at you to say what they find.

It's easy to underestimate Grim Portents from the front, but I think they're really important.  Or actually, if I'm in a hurry, for prep purposes I find it easier to write a list of Things that Might Happen without necessarily writing them properly in the form of Grim Portents.  After you've had a session or two getting to know the NPCs, it might get easier to write each faction's plans in more detail.  (Or maybe that's me getting more used to the form in my head.) 

You say you're concerned about railroading, so the important thing is that you keep clear that it's Things that Might Happen -- you can have totally contradictory items on the list, even without the PCs getting involved.  Maybe Grundloch finishes his ritual first, or maybe the lizardmen overrun the caves, forcing him to get involved in the turf war before the scrying pool area is safe to work.  You don't know which will happen until the PCs get involved -- maybe it's neither!  But the ideas are there, so you can run with whatever happens.

If you're short on time, I'd recommend an iterative approach:

* Name a couple factions
* Describe the leader of each
* Write a monster description for the grunts of each
* Write a couple items of What They're Up To
* Sketch on the map where they live
* Write an interesting treasure item for each
* Write a trap
* Repeat the list and add a little more detail to each, or maybe a new faction, until you run out of time and the players arrive.

Check out The Shallow Sea on the DW website.  If you like that style of first session prep, I have a readme file that goes with it, which explains the logic of the format and how to put one together.  Let me know if you want the file.

I'd love to see that.

mease19

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 08:06:30 PM »
zmook or others, drop me an email at mease19 at the gmails and I'll send you a copy (If you kickstarted DW, the readme was released in project update #23 with the other starters).

zmook

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 08:33:44 PM »
zmook or others, drop me an email at mease19 at the gmails and I'll send you a copy (If you kickstarted DW, the readme was released in project update #23 with the other starters).

Oh, I see I do have that! 

The starters are really nifty, by the way.  Just great for evoking setting.

Undreren

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Re: One hour prep guide needed
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 10:59:20 PM »
Hi, and thanks for all the advice! We just had our session, and it was pretty fun. I did some bloopers, but it's the first game, and we had fun :-)

I actually think that "first sessions" might require a lot less prep than anticipated though. I think I will only make up a bad guy, what kinds of minions he has, where he is, and then just tell the players they just snuck into his stronghold and just ask them for the rest of the details.

I might start a different thread about it later, but all you wrote is great. I just think that there is a tremendous amount of awesome to be harvested from the players' imaginatins, and that I must work on getting better at extracting it :-)

Now I will go to bed :-)
I just recently started a blog on my gaming experiences on www.partialsuccess.wordpress.com