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Ben Scerri @Ben_Scerri
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Hey folks! Today I'm going to prep my next #OnTheEdgeOfExile session live on Twitter. I'll take you through what I've done already, to get started, to where I am now, and then through my process to get from notes > game content. #OtEoEprep #RPG 1/?
Now, you have to understand that OtEoE is a sandbox game, but we use some play devices: Travel Phases, Settlement Phases, and the players forewarn me of their intentions per Story. A "Story" exists in a place, and lasts for 3-4 sessions. #OtEoEprep #RPG 2/?
So, what are we doing today? Well, the PCs just finished their last Story (no. 3), called "Problems at Heim", and they've decided to head next to a nearby city called Collina in the Border Princes. Collina, at this point, doesn't exist except in a notes. #OtEoEprep #RPG 3/?
Today we need to take those rough notes, graft them to a map, fill the map with people, and challenge those people with problems. Those problems give rise to situations, and those situations make Stories possible. The PCs will figure the rest out. #OtEoEprep #RPG 4/?
In the interests of that, I've already made some brief notes! Collina (Tilean [Italian] for "Hill") is a major trading city, between the mines of the World's Edge Mountains and Barak Varr, the largest Dwarven port city in the Border Princes. #OtEoEprep #RPG 5/?
Collina, ~10 years ago, was called "Karlsende". It was the limit of the old Blodrogoth Karl's sphere of influence. However, it was seized during the turmoil after the last Karl was assassinated, by a Tilean mercenary captain called Ilenia Lisandri. #OtEoEprep #RPG 6/?
Ilenia (the Generalissimo (yes, I'm aware that the word _seems to be the wrong gender, and I'll get to that_) controls the Hundred Banners, an alliance of HEAPS of smaller mercenary companies. Ilenia is an AMAZING negotiator, and business mind. #OtEoEprep #RPG 7/?
Why Generalissimo? Ilenia is non-binary. They wear masculine clothes, fill a traditionally masculine role, and have been largely disowned by their noble house back in Remas, Tilea. Done. [Played here by Joanne Whalley.] #OtEoEprep #RPG 8/?
What else have I done? I quickly figured out a map… To do this, I start on @DysonLogos's Dodecahedron, and looks for something close to what I need. I chose the city of Letath: rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/the… #OtEoEprep #RPG 9/?
I then tweaked it, and carved it up into districts that made sense. I didn't go overboard here. Each district should become its own micro-city, so be sparing. Enough for variation, but not much more. Besides, we're dealing with a "city" of ~4800 people. #OtEoEprep #RPG 10/?
Now, NAMES! For my names, I went with [Why Is It Different] > [Who Lives There] > [Who Gets To Name It]? Collina is largely Blodrogoth (Croatian), with lots of Dwarves and Imperial merchants (German), and a Tilean government (Italian). So… #OtEoEprep #RPG 11/?
Google Translate is key, here. For WFRP, it doesn't need to be true German, Italian, etc. It needs to _sound_ German. It should have some consistency, but for play, the feel is important. I came up with various uses, and plugged words into Translate. #OtEoEprep #RPG 12/?
Let's pick one, and populate it with some conflict, shall we? One central tension to each district will do the trick: We're not expecting the PCs to deal with every problem, but we want them to have some choices. Let's start with Pristaništokrug! #OtEoEprep #RPG 14/?
What I like to do next is go to the Career Compendium, and look at the sorts of careers the average inhabitant would maybe pick up. These then give me adventure seeds and inspiration, so I can trail off into cool situations. drivethrurpg.com/product/64673/… #OtEoEprep #RPG 15/?
Looking through the ToC, the following careers stick out to me: Admiral (7), Boatman (30), Burgher (36), Cartographer (42), Crime Lord (54), Deepwatcher (58), Enforcer (65), Estalian Diestro (69), Ex-Convict (70), Exciseman (71), Explorer (73)… #OtEoEprep #RPG 16/?
...Ferryman (77), Fisherman (79), Foreman (81), Forger (82), Gambler (86), Innkeeper (113), Marine (135), Master Thief (137), Mate (140), Mercenary (143), Militiaman (145), Minstrel (147), Navigator (151), Pamphleteer (159), Racketeer (171)… #OtEoEprep #RPG 17/?
...Rapscallion (173), Rogue (178), Sea Captain (185), Seaman (186), Smuggler (195), Stevedore (200), Thief (209), & Thug (210). That's… a lot of careers. Let's pick a subset, instead of reading through ALL OF THAT, shall we? #OtEoEprep #RPG 18/?
How about: Cartographer (42), the PCs are slowly building a map, and they might seek someone like this out; Estalian Diestro (69), for the fun of it; Forger (82), for similar reasons to the Cartographer; & Stevedore (200), because working class. #OtEoEprep #RPG 19/?
These are the Cartographer adventure seeds. I like the first one, and I had through to have Ilenia look to expand north, so something like this works well. I'll make note of it, and see where it links to other seeds. #OtEoEprep #RPG 20/?
I'm not so enamoured with the Diestro seeds, so I probably won't use either of them. However, they could easily be used as fodder for the other seeds, or just as background noise, so I've made some notes. #OtEoEprep #RPG 21/?
Alright, BOTH of these are great, and have given me ideas. Perhaps it's not a witch hunter, but who the Diestro is chasing, who needs a forged license and alibi, to escape retribution. Perhaps the Cartographer has hidden archaeological aspirations! #OtEoEprep #RPG 22/?
Now with this, I'm starting to see a situation develop: An explorer and conman has come to Collina, looking for a patron to fund an expedition down into Nehekhara (Ancient Egypt). No one pays attention, so they start lying & claiming _other_ ventures. #OtEoEprep #RPG 23/?
The explorer is a cartographer, and sells their services to make ends meet. Ilenia gets involved, as she wants a strategic survey of the north so she can invade. She hires the explorer, and the explorer starts defrauding the books to buy up artefacts study. #OtEoEprep #RPG 24/?
The artefacts arrive, carried by ship and the explorer's old partner - an Estalian - who died mysteriously on the way into Collina. The partner's daughter (Diestra?) seeks revenge, believing her father was betrayed. #OtEoEprep #RPG 25/?
Now, the explorer seeks to change their papers, to get out of Ilenia's deal (because she's figured out the fraud), and to escape the Diestra. There's also the problem of the maybe cursed artefacts… Which of course, now Ilenia wants for a strategic advantage. #OtEoEprep #RPG 26/?
There we have it! An inciting incident, a situation, and a plot hook in Pristaništokrug! Now just to do _that_ again for all the rest :P I'll save you all the spam, so this is the last for this thread. I hope this brief look was entertaining and informative! #OtEoEprep #RPG 27/27
Actually, I lied. I'm going to take this seed from where it is, to fully fledged game content. It will be ready for play, by the end of the thread! We have four major steps left: NPCs, Locations, Details, and Threats. #OtEoEprep #RPG 28/?
Ok, NPCs: We've got a few key ones from the seed - the Explorer/Cartographer, the Estalian Partner, the Estalian Diestra, & the Stevedore who uncovers the artefacts. We'll also add in a greedy Foreman who steals the artefacts. Ilenia is already ready. #OtEoEprep #RPG 29/?
Explorer/Cartographer. For WFRP NPCs, I just collect a few careers, and pile them on top, with minor tweaks for culture or background as relevant. I don't mind that this means all NPCs are "higher level" than the PCs - they still make it through. #OtEoEprep #RPG 30/?
For like this, 2 or 3 careers is good, working backwards from focus, therefore: Student > Cartographer > Explorer. This NPC began as a student in Tilea, joined an expedition to Araby as a Cartographer, then stumbled on a find in Nehekhara. #OtEoEprep #RPG 31/?
Pile them on together, and we get the following stat block (here you can see a screenshot from my campaign Trello). I lumped the careers together, kept out the combat stats (I want him to be weak), and found him a name here: fantasynamegenerators.com/italian-renais… #OtEoEprep #RPG 32/?
The Partner doesn't need as much, given they're dead. We need a name and a career path. Let's call them a disgraced Crusader turned Grave Robber, so the Diestra is noble-ish, still, but a bit of a vagabond. fantasynamegenerators.com/spanish-renais… gives us Donis de Narbona! #OtEoEprep #RPG 33/?
Donis's daughter, the Diestra, will be named Valentina de Narbona, then. She's going to have been Noble > Estalian Diestro. She's still young, but she's full of revenge! #OtEoEprep #RPG 34/?
The Stevedore… I want them to be a Halfling. We haven't seen many non-Humans in this game, & the idea of a Halfling Stevedore sticks out in my mind. Let's whip one up, with only the Stevedore career. Let's call her Flower Pocket (windsofchaos.com/wp-content/upl…) #OtEoEprep #RPG 35/?
Greedy Foreman. Again, let's go a little out of the ordinary… This is a CITY after all - we want it to seem nice and cosmopolitan, but in a horrible WFRP way. That means OGRES. We’ve got an Ogre Foreman, hoarding all the artefacts. #OtEoEprep #RPG 36/?
Using Andy Law's fantastic "Imperial Ogres," we can do this! grognard.org.uk/WFRP2/Suppleme… Say hello to Yugung Whistle-Biter! #OtEoEprep #RPG 37/?
Phew! That's our NPCs done. I'll also look for images, but I'll give that a while, and I'll post them later as comments (with links to actors or artists, depending). But for now, let's move onto Locations. As I see it, we need to know… #OtEoEprep #RPG 38/?
Where Cristofano has been hiding out, where Valentina has been staying and subsequently looking around, where Flower and Yugung work, and ultimately, where any confrontation is LIKELY to go down… Let's look at the map! #OtEoEprep #RPG 39/?
These three spots look great. 1) is a market square for the docks, with an adjacent boarding house - this is where Cristofano is staying, and where the showdown would occur (carts flying everywhere, throwing produce, etc.) #OtEoEprep #RPG 40/?
2) is a large warehouse/dry dock/windlass. It's where the larger stevedore guild/gang hangs out, and works out of. Yugung lives in the shack out the back, with his hoard of treasures, drink, and food. #OtEoEprep #RPG 41/?
3) is a seedy dock-front section, where there is a flop house that Valentina is staying at, now that her money is drying up after her father hasn't returned. #OtEoEprep #RPG 42/?
Let's call the three of them the "Leaky Markets", with the "Leaky Inn" attached; the "Silver Shiv's Stevedores Guild"; and the "Soiled Beard Flophouse" (due to the closeness of the Dwarf Quarter). #OtEoEprep #RPG 43/?
Next, are there any specific details I've missed? YES! What do the Nehekharan artefacts look like and actually do? Well, you know what? That sounds like a perfect thing to improv. Yes indeed! I PREP TO IMPROV! #OtEoEprep #RPG 44/?
It's a good idea to _not_ plan some things, so that you're surprised in the moment. In the moment, I'll draw something from my mind - some trope - and run with it. This way, I get to play to find out what happens, too :) #OtEoEprep #RPG 45/?
Last thing is Threats. I run #OnTheEdgeOfExile kind of like Apocalypse World… I figure out what could happen, and then write up a list of things that will happen, if the PCs don't intervene. I also come up with some Moves for when the PCs do intervene. #OtEoEprep #RPG 46/?
This Threat seems simple to me: 1) Valentina goes poking around the dockside, looking for her father, and finds the Silver Shivs. She gets thrown out by Yugung, and demands to know where her father is. Yugung's eaten the body, but the man was already dead! #OtEoEprep #RPG 47/?
2) Valenta goes to find Cristofano in a rage, thinking he's double crossed Donis. She causes a scene in the Leaky Market, and Ilenia's troops come to break it up. Ilenia becomes suspicious of her recent hire, and keeps an eye on him. #OtEoEprep #RPG 48/?
3) Cristofano, scared for his life, goes to the Silver Shiv's to get his artefacts & attempt to flee the city. He confronts Flower, who admits to seeing them, but says Yugung took them. Cristofano flees. Flower plots to steal the artefacts for herself. #OtEoEprep #RPG 49/?
4) Reports get back to Ilenia of the artefacts in the Shiv's. She sends troops to arrest Cristofano, and the drag him to the Stevedores Guild. There is a chase through the Leaky Market to catch him. #OtEoEprep #RPG 50/?
5) Yugung won't give Ilenia the treasures. Valentina shows up to demand they hand over Cristofano, and Ilenia knocks her down. Valentina flees, vowing ADDITIONAL revenge. Ilenia's troops attempt to storm the Guild, but Flower has already stolen the artefacts. #OtEoEprep #RPG 51/?
6) Ilenia puts the Leaky Inn under lockdown, to force Cristofano to get back to work. Flower breaks in and tries to free him, so he can help her fence the artefacts as her hostage. Yugung and Valentina arrive in the Leaky Market, and there's a big dust up. #OtEoEprep #RPG 52/?
7) Cristofano dies in the crossfire, Flower flees into Trash Side to hide, Yugung is hired by Ilenia as a mercenary, and Valentina flees to plot further revenge on Ilenia, nursing many wounds… #OtEoEprep #RPG 53/?
Gosh… That was a lot of writing. As for Moves… I don't think I need specific ones. They're pretty obvious, as written. SITUATION DONE! Hope you folks enjoyed it all! #OtEoEprep #RPG 54/?
Also note, I don't usually go into quite so much detail when prepping for myself, by myself. I tend to improv a lot more from base notes. But hopefully, seeing my thought process will help you do the same! #OtEoEprep #RPG 55/55
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