Friday, February 7, 2020

Unspoken Tags

I was putting together a short adventure for a Roll20 game using the ever-changing Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 rule-set (final version will be uploaded sometime in the next couple days), and it hit me that I often have these unconscious, unspoken tags in my mind as I write and then proceed to run a scenario.

Knowing the effect you want to achieve is key to crafting adventures like a fucking boss!  One-shots especially are not unlike short stories.  As Edgar Allen Poe said about that particular art form, it should create a singular effect and every element of that short story needs to carry its own weight, driving it home.

As I was writing this latest one, I had the following emblazoned in the back of my mind: desperate, exploring the unknown, weird location-based scenario, and Lovecraftian.

Depending on my mood, I might have a different set of tags, such as: cat and mouse, whimsical, gonzo, introspective.

I don't know how many GMs do this and are also acutely aware of it, but just thought I'd mention it.  Is this part of your process?  If so, does it help?  Is this something you'd try using?  Have you ever run an adventure that someone else wrote, using a completely different set of tags?  What was that like?


p.s. This new adventure will eventually show up in my upcoming book Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.  Still haven't gotten your hardcover Cha'alt?  Now's your chance!

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