Friday, June 1, 2018

Twelve Quick Rules for Using Old School Appendix N or Pulp Novel Resources For Adventure Design

Long ago in the mists of time there were very few published worlds & dungeon masters were forces to rely on their imaginations. The works of classic authors were often the target from H.G.Wells, JulesVerne, & the long plethora of Pulp era writers. These  fields are still fertile& even more so because players don't read the works they claim to. Often when mining a book or novella for ideas there are several guide lines I follow for campaign & world development: 
  1. Start with the interesting bits that appeal to you as if you were a player. What is going to grab the players attention? 
  2. The devil is in the details & there no rules for changing them or ustulizing them as needed. The fact is that twisting details of a novel or story to fit your campaign is the norm. The dungeon master has only one audience to please or kill as the whim of the game dictates 
  3. Keeps the notes fast & loose so that you can change on the fly if necessary. 
  4. Dungeon & adventure locations should be mined to the fullest and melded as needed by the adventure. 
  5. Stock these locations as you would any other dungeon. Use common sense or don't depending upon the situation.
  6. Think outside of the usual conventions for interesting adventure locations including classic literature ie Frankenstein's Castle or the like 
  7. Never let others dictate your whims as a reader of fantasy or fiction, if 'so & so' doesn't like XYZ author then all of the better because they're not going to recognize novel or elements as needed. 
  8. Steal but alter as necessary and often adventure locations can change or morph as ideas take you when your writing your adventures. 
  9. Know which buttons to push & which not to. Get to know your players & use common sense as a dungeon master. 
  10. Do what's comfortable but don't be afraid to push classic old school products or OSR material in a direction that the author didn't expect or intend. 
  11. Pick & choose your favorite authors but mix it up a little so that you can keep the players guessing if their literate. 
  12. Keep the material simple or complex as the playing audience can handle the adventure material. This comes under the 'get to know' your players heading.

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