Behind the scenes

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Behind the scenes

Post by Zeiss on Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:32 am

When I have a little more time, I'll be writing about a few facts on how I designed this adventure, what changes the interaction from the players may have caused and a few other things I feel I should tell you guys. Before I do, I suppose I should tell that I always planned for this story to be a tragedy, while the other three adventures I have in mind focus on different things entirely. If I had to describe each one of them using a single word, it would look like this:

  • 1st adventure: Tragedy
  • 2st adventure: Unknown
  • 3th adventure: Terror
  • 4th adventure: Upheaval

So yeah, the emotional core of these adventures are not all depressing. Smile

If you wish to share a few comments about the story or my GMing style, please write them here.


Last edited by Zeiss on Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Zeiss on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:09 am

So, that behind the scenes stuff.

I suppose I should start by telling you that I always planned for Yen to be cursed. She could have died, yes, but I was pretty sure you guys would manage to save her. The relationship between Fedler and Yen is actually what I built the whole adventure around, and this is why I have often tried to put a light on it when I could, such as when the party ate at Fedler's house once the wolf was defeated. Like I said before we started playing, my GMing style is closer to a Final Fantasy game than a Skyrim. The characters and the story are always more important to me, and I hope I succeeded in making you guys care about these people.

As for the fate of Saemon, Irving, Eralda and the innkeeper, I hadn't planned that at all.

I should have seen Saemon's fate coming. After a long battle against the Fire Aspect, it's not that surprising that he would be "out of mana", and that saving Yen from herself would make him go mad. Maybe things would have turned out differently if Velstar had come to the fort, but I'm not surprised she didn't. I intentionally portrayed her as a self-effacing old woman with limited capabilities, and the three of you rolled with it, even when I gave a few hints of the extent of her true power.

The death of Irving, Eralda and the innkeeper are the direct result of the poem Steve composed and recited in front of the villagers during the festivities. This poem revealed some facts that had to remain unknown, which is why the Oracle killed these three people; Irving was the mayor of the village, and could have given serious thoughts about what the party discovered; Eralda was a bard who was associated with the party, and there's no doubt she might remember the poem or simply ask for a copy from Steve; and as for the innkeeper, he had said copy of this poem and didn't want to part with it. The villagers themselves weren't a problem since it was very unlikely for any of them to remember the contents of that poem, nor would they even believe it.

I had also planned for each of your characters' background to manifest in some way in Waterglass. One of Steve's teachers turned out to be the warden of the village, Mihai had one of his old "associates" show up alongside the Oracle, and as for Konrad, the consequences of the choices he made in his previous life were presented right in front of him, but he never realized it. Maybe he will one day, but it was pretty subtle, so we might have to wait on that.

It might appear far-fetched for all three of your characters to be associated with something in Waterglass, but heh, it's a small world, and stranger things have happened in real life.

Now, Breeze. She is obvious comic relief, and I like cute little women that can fly around. I was indeed inspired by Puck from Berserk, but I'm sure you have noticed by now the differences between the two. There's really not much to say about her, except that she's awesome.

GMing this adventure has actually been rather fun, and I have learned quite a few things in the process. Now I know that I have to brush up my knowledge of combat some more and write more notes to remember who is who and who did what. If you would like to share your impressions with me, please do so.

I have only one thing to talk about (that I can think of anyway); the name of the adventure.

I wouldn't be surprised if you had forgotten about it, or didn't give it more thought once Breeze's existence was revealed. Can't really blame you neither, since I probably would have done the same. There's actually more than one definition of the word "fey", and these are the ones I was interested in;

  • supernatural; unreal; enchanted
  • able to see into the future
  • doomed; fated to die

This might look like trivial knowledge, until I do this:

  • supernatural; unreal; enchanted (Breeze)
  • able to see into the future (Marie Lavoie)
  • doomed; fated to die (Yen)

Of course, you guys have managed to save Yen's life, but I think the curse she has to live with falls under the category of "doomed", especially in the confines of this story. I thought the use of the title "The Fey one" was a clever way to hint at the true nature of this adventure, and it was just too good of a title to pass up. I'm not sure I can manage to come up with another one like that for the other adventures I have prepared. If you guys still want to play, of course.

I hope I didn't bore too much with this wall of text. I'm starting to get known for that.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Rory on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:03 am

I was not aware of those secondary definitions. Let's be fair, "fated to die" is Scottish in origin. I'm feeling the sense that the all the conflict was tied to the recent discovery of the magical creatures called fairies, and I'm of the impression that they will play a critical role in the story.

I like that you mapped connections to our backgrounds, but nobody seemed to know Konrad other than other Coins members and our handler. I probably would have gotten something if I tried to roll Awareness/Deception to find out if the oracle's mercenary friends did, but that's behind us now. I imagine my background will become more involved as the campaign progresses.

If you want, you guys' PCs might be inclined to lay blame on Velstar.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Zeiss on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:18 am

Heh, I don't discriminate against the Scottish. Cool

I can confirm that nobody in Waterglass knew Konrad personally.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Kolson on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:06 pm

I picked up Breeze's connection to the title but not the other ones. Very clever Zeiss. What would have happened had we confronted Marie prior to completing the job? Could we have prevented Yen's Curse then?
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by K on Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:10 pm

I wondered about all 3 of them at different times, actually.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Zeiss on Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:44 pm

I had planned for the eventuality of a confrontation with the Oracle, which made it very unlikely that you would prevent Yen's curse. It wasn't 100% set in stone though. Depending on your actions, there was a small chance you could reach a Golden ending.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Zeiss on Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:38 am

So here we go for another behind the scenes post, but for the second adventure this time. You'll notice that this adventure was really an exercise in improvisation, where I followed a vague narrative framework I came up with. So let's go down the list.

Zelk Freeron. A character I had nothing planned for when I introduced her way back in the first adventure. She was just a way to remind Steve of his past while he was on his first adventure, and I was curious where he would go with that. Then Kolson decided that Steve had a serious crush on her, so I went along with it, and it kind of snowballed into the craziest relationship I've ever written. I wouldn't be surprised if Kolson said the same thing. However, the way they got closer to each other really surprised me, for I was fully prepared to make her an enemy of the party. Had their relationship gotten worse, and if Conan had not made that display of strength, she would have been determined to take the "artifact" back to her superiors, with or without the party's help. This was the worst case scenario I had in mind, which I hoped you guys would avoid.

The events on the island were not planned. By that point, I was only moving the pieces according to your actions, and I couldn't predict how it would end.The number of endings available to you guys ranged from very bad to very good, and you were three deaths shy from the golden ending. Bravo to you, really.

This leads us to Snicker. Except for summoning the kraken, I had nothing planned for him. I actually thought I would introduce him later in the story, and not during this adventure. But the more we played, the more apparent it became to me that he was the catalyst for all of these events, and that if I wanted to tell a good story, his presence was mandatory.  I can't wait to show more of him.

As for the - long - epilogue, it was entirely improvised, and what happened during it was because of your actions. Alvo decided to stretch its legs, Breeze got lost, the fairies woke up the whole city, and we had a big party at the park/village. I think we all had a lot of fun during that part, and that's why I'll try to give you guys more room to play with in the future. Having a tight narrative framework helps, but I can't very well do that all the time, especially if we get to the campaign one day.

As you all know, the third adventure is the horror one, and before we delve into the despair that it will bring, we're gonna have a mini-adventure. There won't be any high stakes or demons to manipulate you; just simple, relaxing fun. Kolson is actually the one who suggested we do this, as to avoid draining the players from any enthusiasm they have about the game, and I tend to agree. When it comes to writing grim stuff, I'm good, but it gets tiring.

So if all of you agree, I can start the mini-adventure this weekend.

Also, if you have any criticism about the second adventure, feel free to share. We're playing these adventures so I learn how to GM properly after all.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by K on Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:51 am

I remember i was very ambivalent about Zelk when we first started. I had one good RP with her early on that made me warm up to her, then it got worse as events and Mihai's own nature started bearing down - which also opened the door to Snicker.

Looking at it now, it all feels so connected, it's hard to believe it was improvised.

Mihai had a very big theme of break, breakdown and reconciliation; a lot of which pretty harrowing, due to the nature of the character. His recovery has not yet come full circle, but i'm working on that.

Overall, it was excellent, and i was hooked every step of the way. And yeah, bring on the ball.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Kolson on Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:29 am

Oh it's definitely the craziest relationship I've ever written that wasn't one sided or manipulative in some way. There's a lot of subtext in their interactions and it's a lot of fun writing for them. I hope they make it.

Also props to Rory for his anti-relationship. It was fun exploring that side of Konrad and it helped flesh out Naomi a lot. She ended up being the most interesting member of Zelk's team.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Rory on Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:28 am

Yeah, the whole thing felt planned. I was surprised to learn that it was open-ended and that you were making it up as you went along (mostly).

Thanks Kolson! I would say not to look forward to any more interaction with her, but I think her squad is invited to the ball too, that may unfold some fun drama. And I've come to realize it's too early to start jumping all over Steve's obsession when it's all currently subtext.

I was beginning to wonder if the flip-flopping between angst and making up with Mihai was going to be consistent for the whole adventure. I hope Konrad hasn't shoved him in the wrong direction after that spat in the bar. It got a little personal, but I think we managed to wrap it up in a way that makes complete sense and helps us all move on, in addition to some character growth.
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Re: Behind the scenes

Post by Kolson on Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:43 pm

I hope you stay open to more interactions. I don't know what the future holds but it wouldn't surprise me if we end up working with Zelk and/or her crew again at some point.
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