I have come to realize that the chief stumbling block in creating an adventure for Other Gods is in the creation of the core investigation. More specifically, it is a lot easier to write an adventure with the final ten minutes in mind… the big, horrible thing chasing down the heroes as they try and stop it. It’s also easier to write the scary moments. The hard thing to write is the actual investigative plot.
Notice I said investigative plot? Anyone can come up with a broad plot. For example:
- The characters are hired to investigate the house, only to discover it is actually alive and filled with evil.
Pretty standard, eh? Do you see a problem in what I just wrote? No? Look again.
The problem: I’ve already given the conclusion of the adventure in my plot description. This is very important because it shows that I have subconsciously decided that that’s where the adventure is. On its own this is fine, but the danger now is in focusing on that ending more than the rest of the adventure!
At this point I want you to ask yourself how the players will investigate the house? I don’t mean what will HAPPEN in the house, but what will the characters actually be investigating? How will they be uncovering the truth?
Will you just put them in the house and have them discover the truth while the house tries to kill them? This is the most common answer I hear, but this is not really much of an investigation. The problem with putting the characters in a dangerous situation as they investigate it is that the game becomes about survival first. The investigation quickly takes a back seat. The players will (logically) only care about survival and perhaps vengeance. They will not care too much about the house’s motivations. In fact, you’re almost certain to have someone try and burn the place down just to “win”.
Clearly more information needs to be imparted earlier on, but it still needs to be fun. That’s where a well written adventure can make all the difference!