Yesterday, after spending most of the day scribbling, scrawling, drawing and fretting, I published a one-page encounter. Voltari’s Retreat isn’t a replacement for Stench of the Sea by any means, just something to tide people over while I finish my work.
Aaron McLin made a couple of very relevant points over at Google+ about Voltari’s Retreat. Firstly, the text should say garderobe, without the ‘U’. I will correct that in the next draft along with the errant spelling of Voltari (which becomes Viltori in several spots). While I hand-wrote all the text in the left panel of the one-pager, it shouldn’t pose much of a problem to make amends. A trifle of PhotoShop magic should suffice.
While I continue to work on Stench of the Sea, I have tinkered with ways to create quick and simple maps. Right now, I find I get maximum creativity and quickest results using a Sharpie and a packet of sticky notes. I have some stickies bigger than the ‘standard’ size and some smaller – and, combined, they let me outline an area on the big ones, then zoom in on the small ones.
I originally tried posting an encounter and maps drafted out on the page of an old 2010 diary – and posted it over on Google+. Not content, I scanned the page and annotated the copy with a tool called Quick Markup, because I realised I missed out some details. Then, as if I really didn’t have other fish to fry (like finishing Stench), I drafted the whole thing using my previously outlined combination of stickies.
While I didn’t manage to run a playtest session last night, I did participate in a Cthulhu Dark (Graham Walmsley’s excellent one-page system for running uncompromising Mythos sessions) adventure. While the Keeper (probably) had a plan and a map, I don’t think the adventure had much more preparation. No, I tell a lie – a sensed a hint of a Esoterrorist adventure in there with one very specific and memorable scene.
Basically the adventure had a very vague premise and characters with an awareness of each other and no common purpose. We had a reverend, a funeral director, a lady ex-drug addict, a hostillier, and an ice cream vendor – in a run-down, has-been village. The mayor announced a plan to bring fresh blood to the area with a coach load of immigrants or students (a little confused on the details from the beginning). When they arrived, the village held a fair, but the students (definitely students) seemed to be more interested in visiting a local lighthouse. The reverend (Reverend Ginger) witnessed their visit to the lighthouse and sensed something thoroughly disquieting about the whole affair. Anyway… I digress from the point.
Purpose. That’s my point.
At the weekend, I spent some time wandering around Waterstones and a branch of W H Smith fingering my way through various books, manuals, magazines and newspapers. While I have a draft of my adventure module that stills demands attention, I admit to have become side-tracked with the business of layout.
I have been working on The Stench of the Sea as a boring old Word document. I’m looking to reformat into something slightly more appealing.
The playtest of my adventure module took a slide out into left field last night, as we lost two players and gained three to the vagaries of the real world. I think, under the circumstances, I managed to get it back on track under the pretext that one of the players not in attendance owed money, favours or anything else besides to the three newcomers. One, a Priest of Norn, had a warrant on Paraxis the Humble, our resident charlatan, which came just after an arrest warrant delivered by a messenger from the city. The upshot, Paraxis had an attempt made on his life, then ended up in jail with a serious bolt wound to the chest.