Developing and writing for your players

We are well into October and I have set myself to creating, developing, and writing an RPG module. When put into this position, I find that I’ve suddenly become frozen and can’t seem to push the creative juices to move ahead.

Backstory? Oh, boy, where has my main character come from. What will be interesting for my players to want to pursue the end of the adventure? I much enjoy the magic of the mountains in the Shudder Mountains which is the setting in Michael Curtis’ “The Chained Coffin” box set. I’m not a proponent of reinventing the wheel, but also I am not a proponent of “stealing” ideas or plagiarism. I do know Michael Curtis and have been in conversation with him. I’ve been advised on what I can and can not do. I am grateful for Michael Curtis’s advise. I hope you will be able to someday read and play what comes from this conversation.

My players began with me doing something off the top of my head for a “Ladies Game Night” at a local bookstore where we play Dungeon Crawl Classics weekly.

Life. Yes, life is distracting. Wow, I’m sure that is a new piece of information for you all…NOT. So, finding time to just sit and write is a gift. I don’t get gifts often. Therefore, I’ve not been gifted lately. I am trying with this blog post to spark some creative juices and see if they set a fire. When I don’t feel creative, I find that my mind can easily drift quickly to something else to do. Then, I am a guilty feeling person. The guilt sets in and I seek to find something that will get the creative juices following. It is a Catch 22 with me. Reading would be good, but then I feel like…oh, I need to be writing. Then when I turn to write, I’m thinking…I don’t have enough information to write. Ugh. Writers! I need your help!

So, on with this cycle hoping that it will end soon. The organizing of ideas is a tough area for me. I’m not a seasoned writer, at this time, so I’m developing.

Has anyone written a module that plays on one level and by the time the level is done, there has been enough XP to level up and move on to the guts of the adventure? So that you have almost two modules in one? As I mull over this question, I can list a couple that works in this way…”Sailors on the Starless Sea” and the tournament module, “The Carnival of the Damned“.

So, yes, this blog has sparked some creative juices…I will see you on another day with some development of this crazy module idea.

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Two FLGSs keep me hopping

[SPOILERS BELOW]

There is nothing more fun than having fun with friends! And of course, when you are running Dungeon Crawl Classics at TWO FLGSs, friends begin to come in abundance.

My tables are filling up, therefore, I’m finding myself in a quandary.

  1. What to run each time (there usually are one to two new players)
  2. Whether to limit the number at the table (sorry, I can’t turn people away)
  3. How to start and run a campaign with 8+ people at the table. (this is at one of the stores presently)

Just as much as I enjoy this quandary, I’m also not enjoying it. You see, I’ve not been running DCC RPG for even a year yet. It has been just over a year ago that I started playing DCC RPG. And in having so much fun with it, I thrust myself into judging.

With judging Goodman Games World Tours Road Crew 2017 games, I found myself at GenCon 50 in Indianapolis having won one of three spots in a Road Crew judges contest. What a thrill that was! You know, it’s the kind of thrill that you have to keep pinching yourself to see if it is real. And now, I’m going to Gary Con in March. I’m going as a gamer. I want to learn as a player what a good judge needs to know in order to provide adventures that keep players coming back for more.

Well, this blog started out to share my last two Road Crew 2017 games. Not to talk about cons.

On December 14, at Better World Books in Goshen, IN there were three returning players at the table and we visited “Not in Kansas Anymore” by Dieter Zimmerman with Mark Sprengeler. On December 16, at Secret Door Games in Elkhart, IN there were seven returning players for “Sailors on the Starless Sea” by Harley Stroh. Two of which had been new to the game the week before. One didn’t make it out of the store without purchasing a DCC RPG core book. Both returned with their own set of strangely shaped dice. dnddice

With three players, at Better World Books, having a total of 12 PCs they take a time-traveling trip from the Shudder Mountains back to the 1970’s. “Not in Kansas Anymore” isn’t dull. The PCs find themselves no longer meager peasants with occupations of cheesemaker, baker, and candlestick makers. Semi-truck driver, lawyers, waitress, etc. are trying to escape the threatening lava of a volcano. Along the way, they have gotten some jewels and coins mound of treasure and defeated a poor young sky lizard. Really, what did it ever do to them? Its mother had died a cruel death prior to the PCs ever finding it. With yet more to come, Greg, Cam, and Anita have some exciting adventuring to do and figuring out what purpose the enchanted coins have in escaping the volcano.

Sailors” has gotten itself into its third session with seven players having a total of 20 PCs among them. I am hoping that it will conclude when the group can reconvene after the holidays. Or maybe an all day/night pre-new year’s eve event. The group has made its way across the starless sea with Jacob’s chaotic beadle Image result for Beadleand his holy symbol jumping into the sea to appease the beast. And the PCs are now disembarking the ship for the island with the ziggurat. My players are Marlene, Kelly, Jocelyn, Matt, David, Isaiah, Jacob and Ben. Not with me, at this time, are the names of their PCs. But I can truly tell you that these characters have come up with amazing character names for their PCs.

For those of you that DM, GM or Judge RPGs, please leave a comment below. The subject: The *stress* of preparation for an RPG game and the relief the running of the game to find that it ran better than you’d ever planned for.

My comment is this: I have anticipation anxiety in preparation for a game. Then during the game, I relax and find the players give me the joy and the fun of getting to the end. Sometimes we get to the end quickly and at other times (I know that I’m doing a lot for them to get the clues – not always the best judge’s feature) it goes slow.

I’m constantly looking for ideas, suggestions, and feedback. Positively put, criticism is accepted.

May your holidays be filled with crits.