I have been working on getting a second adventure for the WFRP living campaign written up. So far I have spent a couple of days on it and I feel sheepish for what happened. I had one written. In fact, I had the next three outlines written up and ready to flesh out before now. But the file I had them stored in is gone. I have no idea what happened to it. I don’t know if I just left it behind at my last job or if I deleted it accidentally or what. For the life of me I could have sworn I put it in my google docs so I could jump on and start writing it at any time.
That is a good hint for those of you out there writing modules of whatever sort. It is not enough to keep a good notebook with you at all times but to also have back up of some sort. I personally like using g-docs as it is something that should never be that hard to get to as long as there is a computer present. There are other cloud-related places out there to store documents and there is also the ever popular remoting into your home computer from work that serves much the same purpose.
Back to the campaign. I am still driving at opening up the world for the players. Part of the underlying function to what I am calling “Season One” of the campaign is to get players introduced to the WFRP setting. I am going with the assumption that the players may have heard of WFRP but have limited or no experience with it. That a friend or a friend of a friend has talked them into trying it out for one session. The second module, thematically is dealing with corruption and introduces the Skaven. Both of which are major plot points in WFRP.
With this mod that I have been working on, and I think I am going to continue it with subsequent ones, is to put a note that gives the GM an idea what the players and their characters should get thematically from the mod. Right now it serves two purposes. It keeps me on task when writing the mod. Nothing like starting out with one idea and ending up in a completely different place. It throws off players expectations. And while that can make for interesting play every now and again, doing it constantly can actively drive players off.
The second is to help out those who come after me. Right now I am doing both the writing and GM duties. At some point someone else is going to be doing the GM part. Giving them some additional insight into the plot should help them run it better and hopefully give them a sense of where they can be flexible with the plotted events.
For the most part I don’t really care if the player experiences everything as I have written it exactly. I realize that I am not the world’s best writer nor am I going to be able to please everyone with some of the directions I take things. Add to that the knowledge that the best GMs are the ones who can re-write the plot on the fly to make things more interesting or centered better on their players and well, you get the idea. Mod writers can’t get too much ego invested in their work. You do that and you’re just setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment in the future. Not to mention a few fights as you come across players who have a good GM that brought the plot to the players instead of the other way around.
The last thing I want to bring up today for discussion is campaign rewards.
Campaign rewards has always been a tricky thing to do. I have friends that have participated in large living campaigns in the past where the power Munchkins have been able to ruin a lot of the fun by getting their hands on weapons and other items which break even the best written mods. Nothing like solving that Liche issue with a ring of wishing! Warhammer adds an extra layer of complication to the matter with how the characters progress through the game. Each new career needs what are termed “Trappings” as part of the requirements for the career. In a regular group this is something that is far easier dealt with since the GM can write up an adventure when it becomes time for their players to have something off of the list. A large campaign does not really have that flexibility.
For the time being, my solution is to have as part of the module a section called “Opportunities” which list the various career trappings which can be purchased as part of the completion of the module. It is my hope that I can use this for just about all of the careers save a few. Okay, maybe not so few now that I look at the book. (For instance how does one write a LC mod about giving a PC a legion of troops or a criminal organization?) But that is where I can get the motivation for players to contribute a story idea or module of their own. They need another 3 Grimoires to get into that Wizard Lord career, so write me a mod that ends with your character finding them. Sounds a bit underhanded but it gives people a chance to be involved which is the whole idea to begin with.