I also want to thank Brendan of Necropraxis for the best idea in the whole adventure (the ooze pool), as well as Nick at Paper's and Pencils and Logan of Last Gasp for taking a quick perusal of the thing before I tossed it out to the world.
|An Treasure Map!|
Anyhow, I do think that accepting some genre cliches is not a bad thing, it certainly makes writing an adventure easy, and I don't feel like it automatically produces a less creative product. The issue is not taking the easy way out with the genre cliches. Yes I have mutiny, a treasure map, an island, dangerous natives and a shrine full of lost civilization gold, but for me the thing with pastiche is keeping it high level (or trying - you be the judge). The mutiny is a dull and meaningless act of petty cruelty amongst low lifes even if I steal the plot of Treasure Island and the ancient civilization is a Greek/Nordic hybrid dropped into a Polynesian setting. Hopefully this will be enough not to make the adventure a dull slog through predictable junk. (Link to PDF after break)
I also worry there's a railroad here. A sea voyage is always a railroad of sorts, and while I included some basics I lacked the drive or space for a full salt crawl. Mutiny is also a set piece, though in defense of such 'railroads', sometimes the NPC have plans that mess with player agency, and when you're at sea with them, players have to deal with the pre-written situation. This feeds into the beginning of a rant I have about player agency as an excuse for bad player behavior. Part of the thing in a old style game is consequences, and when player actions enrage powerful NPCs, ignore world events, leave behind things for later or decline jobs/quest then the world can bite back at players and remove choices. Through assassination, imprisonment, barring them from entering town, stealing the stuff they left behind, burning down their ancestral village and killing the other NPC they left to guard camp the NPCs will show that they are also actors. This is another thing that makes tabletop games different from computer RPGs - computer game NPCs often remain static until the player acts, and quests never have timelines except those of the players. This is not a railroad, this is letting the players know that the game is interactive and not a just fiction they tell about how awesome their avatar is. As always I think playing one's character as a 'character' (like in a book) is the best choice, because it allows one to play true to the personality one has created, makes it fun to ignore player knowledge in favor of character knowledge, and makes the character's death less a tragedy and more a chapter ending.
|Fond of the border on this - should have filled the sides - annoying to draw though|
Anyhow - here's a pirate Adventure!
ADRIFT ON THE SEA OF LOVE (Does not include any love) - PDF