Writers' Guild

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MW Starter Module

MW Starter Module


First off thanks everyone in the community for such great support! I and everyone involved can feel the excitement and we're all making leaps and bounds in production (though we are still looking for help and will likely continue to until it's released).

Due to the overwhelming response and large ammounts of talent i am recruiting for a second project with no production schedule at this time but would like to get key personale started on it so we aren't scrambling to keep up with various departments. The second project has a basic supers concept and will be larger than the current undertaking (thinking starter campaign setting with one adventure, tons of HLS adventures and opportunity for a large expansion [a second city]). The reason this has no schedule is because of the size and that i have too many projects right now. This will merely be a jumpstart for volunteers and i would very much hate to see anyone's talent and enthusiasm go to waste.

As the project progresses we will have additional needs as well, so please check back every so often.

I was just in another thread and I thought of a great new project!

As many are aware, I helped develop the MW GUIDES with the aid of many other members and quite a few articles from the community. (They are still in the fine tuning mode, but the major bulk is laid out.) Even though that project isn't entirely complete I've received many letters from new and old members about their usefulness and other people using them as reference. The GM guide itself has around 1.5k views, so it makes me think the information is getting around

Someone was just discussing with me (nautillus project) about making some generic maps for the map section (a new expansion I'm intending to add) to use as a resource for GM's.

This led me to a whole new idea... what if new GM's really just needed a good shove to get them started in their experience?

I remember GURPS 3rd ed. had a great little adventure or three built right into the book that my friends and I played at least 1/2 a dozen times.

Granted one could get a premade module for the same effect, but ugh, those are usually really combat heavy and not much suited to PBP and sometimes other things are a factor like not realizing the module you just bought for your first game is for level 13 characters and now you wasted your cash because there is no way you can handle characters of that level. This adventure would be specifically geared towards new PBP players and GM's.

So here's the pitch (and this is only brainstorming as I can't jump in on this project just yet as I still have to finish the guides):

A royalty free starter adventure module with easy potential for GM expansion.

Base story will be written as Generic Tolkien style fantasy and include lots of classic/tropetastic elements (such as you start in a bar) while avoiding exotic elements (everyone has four arms, wings, a tail and telekinesis) and conversions are made for DnD 3.5, 4 and GURPS, as well as any other system anyone is willing to donate time to convert.

Story is for 2-5 size group of starter level characters and base characters are included, probably a dozen or so sheets being written up for FIGHTER, CLERIC, MAGE, THIEF, and some other popular variants like ELVEN ARCHER, DWARVEN AXEMAN, etc.

Depending on some suggested various endings there will also be suggestions for what KINDS of adventure to run next, but the second adventure will be up to the GM to make based upon the play experience with the group.

Application: This could be used by new GM's to run their first adventure (and possibly help more players become active GM's) and also used as a starter adventure for newbie players that just joined the site, helping MW get more experienced players and gamers simultaneously. Speaking from experience too, these one shot starters can be fun to play repeatedly for experienced gamers too, almost as an RP challenge

Tone should mix various story telling elements but keep "FUN" as the primary concern (though not necessarily campy, as that portion should be left to the GM's discretion).

This is a very large project and I'm just brainstorming it now, so all you writers out there, throw out those ideas, links and concerns.

Eventually once the idea is together more I'll set up ad ad to attract the attention of additional interested parties and we'll all work on it in a game board. Once it is in good working order, like the GUIDES, we'll send it up the chain of command and see if we can get it approved for integration into the site.

What say you MW community?

Some Jobs We'll need to fill:

-Map Makers
-System Experts (generation and conversion)
-Writing Team Members
-Consultants with lots of RPG experience
-Visual Artists
-Playtesters (GM's and PC's)

Please apply for any of these positions by expressing interest posting a sample (or list experience if a sample is not appropriate) below.

I hope you plan on cross-posting to the GM Workshop, because that's really more where this belongs. The questions for the Writer's Workshop should be more about the storyline, coming up with interesting NPCs to interact with, writing up descriptions, and that sort of thing.

I ran a one-shot for newbies several times, over and over, and it was a pretty sturdy little short thing that could be a springboard for most any campaign. It was for people new to D&D, though, so teaching the system more than trying to teach PbP so much. The gist of it...

A small group of people are hired to escort a young woman up the road to location X. This happens prior to game start, though it could easily start with haggling over the price with the patron/father/whatever, or even back to being collected for the job. They have a random wilderness encounter that's easy for 4 level 1s to handle. This encounter is with no real complications, and neither side has any benefits over the other. It also has no moral quandaries, and no way to talk out of it (mindless, enraged critters). The goal of this encounter was to show the players how to participate in a combat.

After that...um, actually, I don't really remember so much, except that one of the groups I ran through it ended up tracking some bad guys into the woods, then set off a net trap. They were all strung up like on Endor in Jedi, and it was hilarious. (To me, anyway.)

I will post over in gm, but the writing stage should really come first imo. That sounds like a fine premise but I would axtually want to carry it on a bit to encourage some basic rp as well, covering both mechanics and rp.

Right now this ia more in the brains storm stage and needs a writers touch for the outline, not really mechanical knowledge, or help with a specific problen in a campaign, which is why I put it here.

I think we could be okay getting a general premise and maybe doing it by system.. Like the 4e starter, the 3.5 starter. I think trying to do one adventure for multiple systems would be a bit flawed since different systems require different scopes or have different things highlighted about them. Like the above posted doesn't really capture what systems like Mutants and Masterminds or nWoD is all about. They're not really made to do "Tolkien" fantasy.

I wonder if we could just use free modules rather than writing one. Keep on the Shadowfell is free of the wizards site for D&D 4e and Emerald City Knights 0: The Silver Storm is free for Mutants and Masterminds 3e. I believe both are made free to introduce new people to the system, I don't see why we couldn't use them for this.

That's all fine and dandy and would definitely be a great resource to list on the systems page for each system specific thing, but I think the notion is to create an adventure that is relatively light on combat (as heavy combat games can drag to play to a halt and even kill pbp games due to posting rates, and we are expecting new members to play this) and also a game that has lots of notes for a beginning PBP GM specifically, (such as referencing the guides) and have ready made characters that are roughly balanced to avoid munchkin problems for new GM's. While these adventures could be adapted for this, I also think part of the fun of this project will be to create the thing from scratch and use adventures like those as reference.

Most systems already have starter adventures, but they firstly aren't geared for PBP and secondly may be lacking in several design areas. For example, keep of the shadowfell, while mostly complete, lacks a few things that are within the scope of the project such as premade characters and notes on how to scale the adventure. Does the party have 2 PC's? 6 PC's? This can make a drastic difference in the combat scenarios and newbie GM's may not know to scale by adding or subtracting a few kobalds without being told.

And like I said, I think part of what will make the project fun will be to write something from scratch, by the MW community for the MW community

Also, my excitement for this project gives me good motivation to want to hurry up and finish the gruelling end of the wiki stuff for the guides (like the disclaimer etc.)

I think the best way to handle this would be to make at least 3 adventure templates for the individual dm to use, one for each genre, the genres being fantasy, horror, and cybernetic/superheroes

I can see your point. As someone whose ran a WotC module and streamlined it (my group has just started the final encounter of the module), there could be a place for that. Perhaps that is something for another guide

Again though, I do think that we need separate adventures for different systems. A few templates like Noah mentioned would be a starter. People can hate on rules or combat heavy systems, but can't deny that they still have a place here.

I will admit only under threat duress or coercion

But yes, combat obviously has a place in most all games.

The idea I believe, would be to expose the players to various different elements to help them define what they like and don't like. This way if they prefer the rules and combat elements they can find a game more suited to that (or vice versa) after their first one, same thing for the new GM while they find their GMing style.

A follow questionnaire may even be in order to help the new members find the games they are looking for in the future.

As a general rule I've read before for a balanced adventure, three combats, a boss fight, 2 traps and 3 RP situations for an adventure. I have no idea where I sourced that from but it came up while I was researching the guides, I think it was WoTC that said it though, however I may be horribly wrong

I might be able to help with some conceptual art for the characters, but not until I'm finished with the projects I have in queue right now.

But, there are enough "classic" images out there not to need portraits.

Yes but not that we can offer as a MW exclusive feature. Even if it's royalty free I think half the fun is making a community project by the community for the community

Original art would be a must, and it's nothing I'm looking to do too soon anyhow, so hopefully your schedule will clear up by then.


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