Let's imagine I'm starting my new campaign, and to keep prep low and help tie all the emerging plotlines together I'm using my 5x5 grid of Places, Antagonists, NPC's, Things, and Scenes.Image (cc) AsymmetricButterflyI need something going on in the background, so I'm just going to roll up a random plot arc:Crafted long ago by Lizardfolk, from the bones of a gargantuan beast to be wielded in a war against Undead, this is a spear of destiny. It makes the wielder speak in the language of the creator until attuned and is well balanced, or somehow blessed or guided, adding +1 to attack rolls. The wielder must avenge the death of the last hero who fell using it to awaken its powers, when it will become a +2 magic weapon that blazes on contact and deals an additional 3d6 damage to the intended enemiesThis might be the main plot arc of the whole campaign, or it may never get any screen-time. It doesn't matter, it matters that it gives me some elements and a vague idea for a story. The story can (and will)
I have been playing around with ways to make my planning easier, more dynamic, and more focused. The idea I've hit upon is mainly inspired by Technoir's "Transmissions" and the sheets I had made to track the Enemies, Friends, Complications, Things and Places for each system in my Stars Without Number campaign.Image (cc) Sheam BoI was using a 5x3 grid for SWN - one for each category for each tag I used, including the Trade tags from Suns of Gold, and it worked well. However it didn't feel like there was much continuity in terms of the plot, and I was keeping notes elsewhere on what was happening on and off screen. Given that the system is designed for sandbox games that's fine, but in retrospect I think I overplanned here for my needs and should only really have had one of each category for background, side plots, and local colour - but that's for another article...Somehow I stumbled upon Technoir - I do love cyberpunk - and while I wasn't a massive fan of the narrative system I was impressed by th
Image (cc) paganjesus on DeviantArtI'm the kind of person who likes to have a project, so I'm setting myself one right here.For years I've been looking for a way to weave the player characters into engaging plots while still keeping prep low and flexibility high, and it finally feels like things are falling into place. My hobby project for the rest of this year is going to be formalising my ideas and getting them down on paper. Electrons. Like so:On DMing, or How I Learned to Let Go and Embrace the Chaos (May)Railroad / Sandbox / Other (June)Reusability and Separation of Concern (July)Using a Grid for Plot Components (August)Populating the Grid (September)Using the Grid for Planning (October)Reshuffling Items in the Grid (November)Example Campaign (December)Sounds manageable, and by the end I'll know if it works or not. Hope you'll follow along. I'll be using this post as an index as I go and post a retrospective at the end, wish me luck!