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Adventure Skeleton please / GMing tips

Lloyd Dupont

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As I am getting ready for starting (soon) my Master of Orion campaign....
I have a problem... the one thing that come to me easily is, I realise with horror, is the 2 part style, where (a short) part 1 is gathering information, that lead to part 2, a suspicious location with enemies to fight

At the same time, my MoO setting would neither be, I hope, a Star Wars or Blade Runner style one. Both dystopian in their own way with ample of opportunity for unchecked gunplay by the police.

And while I do plan to have a civil war start during the campaign (and last much longer) to create some chaos (and mystery, as it happens)... I want the world to be less violent that the game play I am used to...

Further, any investigative game I have been pat of.. was mostly unsuccessful (i.e. not that fun) so I am green there, and also.. I am not planning on players being part of some police force / vigilante group (just because I like the story of personal rise to power... I hope to put player in multiple situation that will let them gain personal political influence and reputation, personal wealth and personal enemies and also freedom to give up when the challenge proves too great)

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I prep a mystery scenario, I always make a bunch of spare clues to drop, of varying ease/obviousness.  That way I can accelerate things if it's dragging.  Similarly, I create some red-herrings, both "false trail" stuff set up by their adversaries, and simple coincidences and accidents that LOOK important/relevant, but are neither; so if the players are just stumbling into the endgame after an hour at the table, I can redirect them.  Last but not least, some stuff that's simply delay/filler/spice/content/etc; extra combat, a deadly trap, a Head Librarian they have to convince to open the Archives, etc.

Maybe the clues they find lead them to... more clues.  They find an envelope with a suspicious letter in it, go to the return-address only to find the resident has vacated (but there's a nosy neighbor to question, or a landlord griping about them skipping out on the final month of rent, or etc etc etc...) .

Note however that "dictatorship" doesn't imply corruption; the one doesn't follow from the other...

Vlad III of Wallachia -- the famous "Vlad the Impaler" -- supposedly placed a golden cup loose and un-guarded in public, in the center of his city.  They say nobody stole it during his reign; Vlad believed in the rule of law, and enforced his views with extraordinary zeal...

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I made some progress on that topic... 🙂 

On one hand I create difficulty for myself 😅 I always imagine the Master of Orion universe being a "technotopia" (is that a word? it's one now! 😄 )
On the other hand I want to create adventures.. for people who are not part of any government agencies... (I like my player to be free agent and chose their own path...)

Anyway good story with Vlad... 🙂

Other than that I came up with the following few fundamentals...
- First I will start a civil war in the Empire.. that will obviously create some chaos and opportunities...
- I am preparing multiple "circles" which are various "secret associations" of NPCs with means and agencies. And various plot points for each that have a chance to involve the players, for or against, in some ways...
- I will start the campaign with a bang and a clue on one circle that, hopefully, the player will fill entitled to investigate on their own...
- when players are involved with a circle, that increase the chance they could be involved with an enemy/ally circle! (i.e. they can be contacted, or attacked, or something...)

- finally, if the player follow none of these clues.. I will have to slog them through some unrewarding space trading... and an occasional pirate attack (that can lead to more clues! 😮 🙂

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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