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 Post subject: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:51 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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Not sure if I should post here or elsewhere on the site. Dragonhelm from the piazza forum asked this question:
Quote:
I'm a very story-based DM. When I'm not running my own original adventures, I sometimes like to use a good module.

Thing is, I'm finding it harder to find good story-based modules. WotC's adventures seem more tactical in nature these days, at least from what I've seen. I've seen some good stuff come out of Paizo.

So, putting aside editions and all of that, where do you look to find good story-driven adventures?

I don't have a lot of Goodman Games adventures so I thought someone here might be able to suggest something.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Hey Dulsi,

Concerning story-based adventures, I'm not sure what you define "story-based." Could you give a couple of examples?

I own all the DCCs up to #51 (minus 3.5) and find any and all can be ran as "story-based" if you, as DM, are willing and able to adapt the module to your use.

I've written several accounts of my DMing various DCCs. Here are links to two of them. They might give you an idea of the flavor of the DCC series:

DCC #0: viewtopic.php?t=1292

DCC #17: viewtopic.php?t=834

I hope this is of aid to you.

Does anyone else have suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:48 am 
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I asked Dragonhelm about what he means by story based and was told:
Quote:
Well, something that when played out, comes across like a short story in a book. Something with fantastic locales, NPCs. Dragonlance's Age of Mortals trilogy is a good example.

What I'm not looking for is tactical adventures.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:39 am 
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dulsi wrote:
I asked Dragonhelm about what he means by story based and was told:
Quote:
Well, something that when played out, comes across like a short story in a book. Something with fantastic locales, NPCs. Dragonlance's Age of Mortals trilogy is a good example.

What I'm not looking for is tactical adventures.


Oh, so he wants railroads... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:42 pm 
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I am unfamiliar with the Dragonlance's Age of Mortals series so am unable to really comment on this.

I can say, in my opinion, any of the DCC modules could be played as a "story-oriented" module or as a tactical module depending upon how the DM runs it.

The module is but the skeleton. How it is fleshed out is the business of the DM and players.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:18 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
Oh, so he wants railroads... :wink:


Not railroads. I know Dragonlance has had some railroady adventures in its past. Price of Courage was good about having a setup, several parts that cold be taken in any order, then a climax. The idea being more of a general outline of events to happen, but giving the illusion of total freedom (what Tracy Hickman refers to as a "closed matrix")

I like a lot of what I've seen from Paizo. I'd rather stay away from dungeon crawls. While fun, they don't seem to have a lot of plot.

I also want to stay away from adventures that are tactical in nature, like what WotC puts out. What brought this on initially is that I'm running the Free RPG Day adventure for Dark Sun, Bloodsand Arena. I find that I'm not enjoying it as much as I did with some of the adventures I used to play in 2e.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:06 pm 
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If the DCCs are not of great interest to you, what about these two adventures from Goodman Games?

http://www.goodman-games.com/5301preview.html

http://www.goodman-games.com/5302preview.html

Also, what about the 3.X modules by Necromancer Games?


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:31 pm 
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On your suggestion, I picked up Dragora's Dungeon today at a FLGS.

I might check out the Necromancer modules too.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:19 pm 
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You'll have to let us know if the module makes the grade!


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:05 pm 
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Dragonhelm wrote:
mshensley wrote:
I also want to stay away from adventures that are tactical in nature, like what WotC puts out. What brought this on initially is that I'm running the Free RPG Day adventure for Dark Sun, Bloodsand Arena. I find that I'm not enjoying it as much as I did with some of the adventures I used to play in 2e.


At the risk of starting an edition war or appearing to flame, I think that's also partially a function of D&D 4th edition. It is--let's face it--more tactical in nature than previous editions.

That's not to say you can't inject "story" into the game, but that's up to YOU as DM to provide that incentive.

An idea might be to adapt 2nd (or even 3.x ) edition adventures into 4th edition. Hew closer to the 'heart' or 'spirit' of how the adventure was written in that previous edition while using the 4th edition rules engine to accomplish only the combat portions.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:09 pm 
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4E does have the distinction of putting tactics ahead of story. At least, that has been my experience with the game so far.

I think that most modules could be run as a story, if you are willing to thin out the rules and simplify the options. I've run Amber Diceless and it has almost zero detail in the mechanic (and no dice at all), so the story has to take the forefront. I can take a DCC module and run an Amber Diceless rules set, but it takes a lot of experience and more realistically a rules lite system will get the job done better than a "no rules" system.

I guess what I'm saying is that thick rule books tend to breed certain styles of play and thin rule books breed a different style. Both types can be fun, but for a story-based game I'd stress looking for a thin rulebook. I'm partial to OD&D and C&C, but there are other games out there that can work as well. (S&W White Box, for example, is a free download and is quite rules lite.)

Most of the DCC modules aren't just random dungeon crawls, but focus on a story in the midst of the dungeon crawl. I'd go to my local hobby store, read the back of some modules, and pick one I liked. Then run it with a rules-lite rules set.

I think that will give you a great story-based adventure!

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:24 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
4E does have the distinction of putting tactics ahead of story. At least, that has been my experience with the game so far.

The problem with suggesting a different system is that Dragonhelm likes the 4e system. While 4e may not put much focus on fluff, the game works perfectly fine with fluff. My players are very captivated by the story of my campaign. My brother has been running my initial adventures for D&D Encounters since our store never got Season 3 and the players seem to love it. They wanted to continue with the adventure instead of doing season 3 even if it had showed up. One of them requested more information on the setting. (In case anyone is curious my brother blogs about the non-d&d encounters. Here is the most recent at the time of this post.)

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions for Story-Driven Adventures
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:01 pm 
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dulsi wrote:
The problem with suggesting a different system is that Dragonhelm likes the 4e system.
My error. I noted that the poster had been on the Piazza forum and didn't connect that he wanted something 4E-based. (Many posters on the Piazza are pre-3E gamers.) :oops:

4E is different enough from other editions that it's a tough conversion, so most of my suggestions won't work as well as I'd hoped.

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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