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Thread: BR Adventures
06-14-1997, 11:37 PM #1
At 11:49 AM 6/14/97 -0400, Niels E. Wisth(email@example.com)wrote:
>IMHO, areas and NPCs does not need to be described in detail by the
>scenario author - any reasonably good gamemaster should be able to snatch
>descriptions and NPC personalities out of thin air, and make them come
>alive in an instant. This is especially true with Birthright, where, as you
>said, the variations are nearly infinite. I'm using your argumentation
>against you here - ;) - but actually, many of the adventures TSR publish
>*are* useless to a large portion of their audience.
I agree many Adventures done by TSR are worthless to most DMs. But for an
entirely different reason. Virtually every Adventure to come from them over
the past 12 years has been CS. If not for pre-generated PCs then for very
specific classes and levels. This narrows thier usefullness to only a select
few. I can think of little else I would want done for me besides giving a
well developed background, and in-depth NPCs. While I could easily make them
myself I put down my cash for something I can use. What I don't need is to
have the role-playing handled for me. My group and I are quite capable of
making interesting characters that come alive on our own. And though I could
say the same for the other aspects of an Adventure, I am far too busy to
devote large amounts of time on Adventure creation, like I did back when I
was in college. All I want is something I can use for my money that makes my
life easier, not something that tries to play for me.
>I do not believe I have seen any of TSR's CS adventures, but if you mean
>the Darksun modules (who come with a set of pre-rolled characters), we are
>talking about two different things. A CS scenario with little detail
>regarding NPCs and areas, but great depth concerning plotline, would use
>the backgrounds of the player charachters to build the plot, not external
>forces. I believe there are many people out there who would benefit greatly
>from reading a thorougly designed and unique character, who could function
>as a real human (demihuman?) being, not just a bunch of stats.
The only real problem with this argument is the setting. BR is a setting for
experienced Players and DMs. No one playing in BR should need any help with
role-playing a PC, and the same is true for the DM you needs to reason why a
plot should involve his PCs. I agree fully that BR Adventures should
concentrate more on plot, but I also never find well developed NPCs to be a
problem. They always come in handy somewhere down the line. The major
problem I have with your suggestion is any Adventure written too CS is
absolutly worthless to anyone who wants to use it for thier own PCs. Lastly
if you know anyone who plays BR and treats thier PC as a "bunch of stats"
then point them towards something like FR until they get the knack of
role-playing. BR is not for them.
>I must say I totally disagree with you there. I do not know what the
>standard is on gaming conventions in your part of the world, but in Norway
>all scenarios that are run at conventions are character specific. The
>role-playing isn't scripted, but the characters are pre-defined, to build
>the plot and give the greatest roleplaying-possibilities. What would Hamlet
>be, if the actor playing the prince started behaving like Rambo?
My arguments have nothing to do with tournament games. They must be run with
pre-generated characters in order to keep the Adventure true. As for this
in-character problem in an ongoing game, do what I do. Sit down with each
Player and have them construct a character personality profile, and
background. If your Players are worth thier salt they will stay within
character and play as they should. Again if they can't they don't belong in BR.
>Could you name a few? Please? Maybe I'll understand what you mean by CS,
>and why you're against it... :)
My definition of CS Adventures means any that uses pre-generated PCs or is
intended for PCs of a specific class and level. With that said you can tell
I'm reffering to almost every Adventure TSR has done in the past 12 years. I
mean all RL, DS, DL, and FR Adventures. The only true none CS Adventures
existed before TSR even had a campaign setting(some 16-18 years ago).
>No, no, no! With character specific scenarios, you don't need a forced
>series of events, because the story comes as a result of the players
>playing their characters! You have the setting ready, you have PCs with
>detailed backgrounds, personalities, motivations and goals, and you have a
>starting event. Voila! Instant success. The players take matters into the
>hands of their characters, and the GM just tags along. A character specific
>scenario - the way I define it - has the highest variation allowed on both
>the players' and the PCs' part. No railroading is needed! I do agree that
>"the harder they try to tailor an Adventure to specific PCs the more work
>that is required to make it fit yours", though. Because, if you rip the
>characters from a character-specific scenario, you have nothing left... No
>plot, no story, no fun at all... :)
I would agree if TSR handled CS Adventures the way you present them.
Unfortunatly when written in this fashion they always require the PCs
to.."go to place x and find clue y, before they can move on to area g" this
is annoying. I would rather the scenario was treated as an independant
setting that reacts to each PC, not to have the entire experience customized
to them and thier interests. Its not that way in life and I like it to be
that way in my game. Brief real-life example(or thought)to compare this to,
Ever go to a mall and find only the stores your interested in there?, and
all the clerks understand your every interest as though they shared them?
Probably not. This is what you have when you deal with an Adventure that
centers around over customized Encounters, and not enough detail spent on
the little things that bring the setting alive.
>Yes, I agree. But if your players make original, realistic characters,
>isn't it hard to put them into a finished scenario (if you do not create
>them specifically for that adventure)?
Actually no. If the Adventure gives a good arena to play in it takes little
work to rewrite the plotline to match the PCs. Maybe its something that I
grew into, but after all these years I find it simple to intergrate my PCs
into a scenario, after just a little modification. Remember you need to know
your characters as well as the Players, and then you can customize any
situation to them with very little effort.
>IMO, roleplaying IS players getting into the personality of their
>characters. Everything else is just furnishing. But I believe that
>roleplaying can appear spontaneously, and does not have to be built up over
>time. And I *know* (from lots of Norwegian convention experience) that good
>roleplayers can make pre-generated characters come to life in no-time, in a
>most entertaining way. :) Actually, some of the best roleplaying I've ever
>seen has appeared during play with pre-generated characters.
Ah we agree on something. :) Two things actually I have seen some great
role-playing come from Players using pre-generated PCs, but in the long run
Players just can't get the same attachment to a one-shot character that they
can to one they have personally molded over a long period of time.
>Ok, I start seeing what you mean by CS. I totally agree with you, that kind
>of stuff has no place in Birthright. But I still believe that some _real_
>character-based scenarios would benefit the setting immensly. As for tools
>we GMs can use to spice up our individual games, sure, keep on writing
>those excellent setting supplements, TSR! But it would be nice if they
>could cater to the other part of the market, too - those who actually try
>to base their games on roleplaying and realistic simulations.
Thanks for the agreement I wondered if I was too vague on my CS point I'm
glad I wasen't. I also agree the Supplements are great, what I don't agree
with is TSR wasting time trying to teach role-playing to Players who should
already know what it is. We need hard material not the stuff all of us
already know how to do. Again if your Playing BR then role-playing and
realistic situations should already be in use in your game, and you don't
need any help with that.
Let me end off by saying: I believe we both are looking for the same thing,
Adventure material that can be used by the majority. Your points are very
good, and I have enjoyed reading them and being forced to rethink myself.
Prehaps TSR will go in the direction you have promoted, and I will see the
light. And prehaps vice versa. Also I wish I had the chance to play in one
of your games, I believe you must run a good session. As to those from TSR
who read these words know this, although we differ on points we ask for the
same thing: tools that we can use to make role-playing the focus of our
Adventures not a sideline. And again I apologize if I offended anyone with
my comments, it was not intentional. And if anyone wishes to further carry
on this discussion please contact me by *private* e-mail, as this subject is
starting to drift off-topic and I don't wish to clutter the List any further. :)
"War is a matter of vital importance to the State;
the province of life or death;
the road to survival or ruin.
It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied."
-Sun Tzu,(The Art of War)-
06-16-1997, 12:54 PM #2Gregoire Alexandre SeguiGuest
At 12:29 PM 6/13/97 +0200, you wrote:
>> From: Mike Carscadden
>> I just would like to second the idea of a big boxed adventure for BR. I
>> have all the current products which have been released and even if I did
>> tear apart the adventures and use them piecemail I would like to see
>> something epic. I liked the idea of Night Below with the complete maps
>> and long involved plot and most of all I like the player handouts. They
>> are great for games and besides ...
>> I thought
>> that since we have the ear of some of the Creative Folks at TSR that I
>> would give another voice to the boxed adventure thing.
>Well, the writers of the Birthright supplements are so talented that to use
>them to write a big, boxed dungeoncrawl would be a real shame. Why not make
>a REAL scenario for once? I know they can do it. Adventures like the Temple
>of Elemental Evil and the Ruins of Undermountain was fun when I was 14
>years old (and are still good for laughs), but why waste Birthright
>resources on something like this?
- - Ruins of Undermountain was a dungeon crawl. I will give you that. I've
played And I say again Played, the "Temple of Elemental Evil" at least 10
times. I am currently doing it again with my GreyHawk DM.
- - Anybody who runs this as a dungeon crawl is not an experienced DM. The
inside of this temple has so much to offer with role playing that it's
impossible to be a dungeon crawl. In fact, if you take it as a dungeon
crawl, you are dead.
- - The realm inside the temple will bring adventure to them all. The four
temples battling each other can see the advantage of having the players
doing the dirty work for them, the multitude of characters wich can
interact with the characters, lure them into traps, trick them into helping
them... Who says the characters can't play their own game, players can be
verry imaginative, when it's time to have the temple of water attack the
temple of fire as they think that the temple's protector is dead.
- - A good adventure is one wher you can go into more than once, knowing the
plot and still find new twists and traps.
>If the Creative Folks at TSR could publish a scenario built around
>pre-generated characters (with about 5000 words of background and
>personality each), with realistic character motivation to drive the plot
>forward, and a loose, non-railroaded structure, Birthright could REALLY
>show what it's good for.
- - Well, Birthright being good for every aspect of the game I truly
disagree. I have played a D&D game with pre-made characters. It was fun,
but I couldn't then built it into a campain because the players could not
develop the same love for their characters as one they have invented
>The idea that all published scenarios should be
>compatible with any PCs is old fashioned.
- -You are right. I think of the Dancing Hut scenario, wich works on any
plane of the multiverse for an illimited number of players, of the level
they want to be, and I shrug. I never even considered buying it.
- - As for most of the adventures being like that, I disagree. It's up to
the DM to buy a good scenario that fits around their PC group, or have the
PCs built characters around the scenario. BR has enough described people
to last me a lifetime. How am I supposed to remember their names and where
to find them.
- - Mabe an index of described places and characters would be more useful.
>Roleplaying is so much more than
>"my PC likes horses, so I spend 40 GBs to buy a pair" (no offense
>intended). Birthright has all the ground work for excellent gaming, so
>writing such an adventure would only be good, visionary fun for the lucky
- - I don't think (again, no offence) that you will find any authors of
Birthright that will put in that someone bought a 20GB horse.... wether
it's a boxed set, or an epic quest.
>To those who run published scenarios because they do not have time to make
>their own: A scenario with finished, detailed characters would both save
>time in adapting the scenario to the PCs, and give a much better
>roleplaying experience (not to mention challenge - what is more fun than to
>play a complete character that you haven't made yourself?).
- - I partially agree with your comment. I like playing ready made
adventures because they easily cast characters in a given direction. Then
again, they tend to still limit the roleplay because the players aren't
playing the same style as the characters were intended.
- - Many adventures expect players to sit and think, or to go forward and
attack. Many adventures do not expect characters to sit and wait or to
hide and, not attracting suspicion, sneek up to information, burglar their
way to knowledge. Any way you look at it, you'll need to modify the
adventure and know how to improvise.
>Birthright is such an excellent and revolutionary setting, that wasting it
>on old-fashioned scenarios is a real waste. With BR, TSR has taken the step
>into the future regarding setting. But is TSR ready for modernization
>regarding adventures and scenarios as well?
- - I don't quite agree. BR is revolutionary by the fact that you can play
"Wide Scale" campains and battles AS WELL as "short scale" dungeon crawls.
I think that TSR doesn't really need many other worlds anymore. Birthright
is ok for anyone to play wether you like the old style of adventure or want
to play a war game style game.
- - IMHO, TSR (or WotC) should continue to make all sort of different
adventures for Birthright.
Gregoire Alexandre Seguin
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