Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Ennies and writing on autopilot

As you may be aware,  the writing contest between Kiel Chenier and myself that spawned "The Scenario from Ontario" is up for an Ennie award.  You should vote for it to win. If you rank it a 1 and don't rank anything else in that category we'd be much more likely to win.

Kiel recently did an interview about the adventure and talked about how the short time frame made it so that he wrote it almost on autopilot and so a lot of his natural inclinations for how adventures work bled into it.  He discusses how themes such as the banal yet powerful evil of greed mixed with industrialization can easily overshadow the supernatural in terms of true misery caused. The theme that deposing a powerful person creates a vacuum and that the players will have to weigh filling that gap and becoming the villain themselves or seeing if the new person who fills the void is even worse than the last.  Those are his "autopilot" themes.

A friend referred to my own entry (Maple Witch of the Beaver Wars) as very visibly "Zzarchovian",  when pressed on what that means he brought forth a few points that would seem to be my own autopilot for adventure writing:

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1. Some sort of ongoing problem emerging from the dungeon that provides hooks (like kids missing in Pale Lady)
2. Interact-able factions surrounding/inhabiting the sandbox (the haud/nish/french/witch division in MW, the priest/pagans/others in ATDB)
3. abstracted/random navigation surrounding the dungeon, often with clues pointing to dungeon 
4. a dungeon with one or more artefacts/magic effects intended to have complex consequences for PCs (the bassinet, the cube) 

So, seeing as I have an Omnibus of all my NGR/OSR adventures temporarily available over at the Kickstarter I am running, I figure I have enough of a body of work for people for people to make their own thoughts on what a "Zzarchovian Adventure" is and I would love to hear them.


Money Money Money.....MONEY

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