May 11 2016

MMP#207 – Adventure Design

MM Mini LogoHey Folks. We have Shawn Merwin in the house to talk about adventure design and then we get into the Social Media Depository and the Podcast Round Up. Enjoy and thank you to the Patron’s.

Time Stamps

1:36 – What’s Going On

15:22 – The Lab: Adventure Design

1:36:07 – The Social Media Depository

Savage Rift’s Kickstarter Update 303K


AcadeCon Kickstarter


IGDN Spotlight – Threadbear RPG – A Stichpunk game


1:46:06 – Podcast Round Up

One Shot Evil Campaign


1 comment

1 ping

  1. Sean Kelly

    Still listening, but I wanted to make a quick comment before I forgot. In the discussion on actual plays and education it was said that you can do entertainment or education but not both, and One Shot was used as an example. Within the context of the discussion (adventure design) I think this is a fair point, but more generally speaking I think it’s worth qualifying what was meant by “education.”

    Story-focused podcasts like One Shot and Campaign might not be good at teaching mechanics, but I think they are good at teaching story development. From a player perspective, listening to a bunch of Improv people play RPGs is incredibly valuable just for demonstrating how to participate in world building and engage at a story level, which is an area that I’ve found does not come naturally to a lot of players. I can find a hundred different ways to teach someone the mechanics of a new system, but if I want to teach someone to be a better roleplayer, teaching by example (ie. APs) is pretty much it.

    Regarding specific systems, I think the shows do job of demonstrating how to use the game mechanics to tell better stories. For example, the dice mechanics in the Edge of the Empire game allow for some atypical results, like a failure with advantages. From what I’ve seen, these results are so broadly misunderstood as unnecessary complexity that I’ve read game reviews by experienced GMs advocating eliminating them entirely. But Campaign, for example, is excellent at using these results in interesting and effective ways. It effectively sold me on the apparent complexity of the design as one that’s actually interesting and useful.

    Finally, I think APs of this ilk can be good at showing what’s interesting or fun about a system. What is the setting really like? How do certain stand-out mechanics like bennies affect play? What did the players enjoy doing and what confused them? I find these to be as useful as podcasts like Critical Glitch which taught me how the hell combat in Shadowrun works, step by step.

    That said, what I’d really like to see is a podcast that does both. Kind of like how James was doing Critical Success for a while. Do the entertaining story thing and then have a postmortem episode where specific things about the adventure are discussed in detail. What worked and what didn’t? What did you learn about that one weird rule? How can I avoid making the same mistakes in my game? I honestly can’t sit through a mechanics-focused AP, but looking under the covers of a story-focused AP after the fact can be really interesting.

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