1.8 Don't Embed Style Rewrite:1


i fucking hate writing ...
Staff member
don't embed assumptions?

Don’t embed style
There is not a right way to play an adventure. The vast majority of designers embed assumptions in to their adventure about what they expect or want the party to do. Some get away with it and still have a decent product. The very best don’t embed assumptions in their adventures. This can range from the adventure site, to motivations, to choices made during the adventure.

Imagine there’s a hole in the ground outside your house. Inside is a monster, a bag of gold, yours for the keeping if you can acquire it. Now, go figure out 30 ways to get it! That’s the kind of thing we’re looking for with our characters and their adventures. Divert the river and flood out the orcs? Ok. Smoke ‘em out? Ok. Hiring an army f peasants to dig out the top of the hill? It’s not that these should succeed, or be easy, but these sorts of solutions should be possible. This means making something of a (and I hesitate to use this word …) realistic environment. You don’t need to kill yourself in making a realistic environment, but you do need to ensure you’re not shutting off all avenues than the one you want. If the party has to fight every monster then you may want to open up the space a bit. If it’s a bland environment you may want to steal an actual cave map, or the topo map for an actual place. The key is not to think of all possible solutions to shut them out, or to think of all possible solutions and include something for them. The idea is to create a neutral environment that the characters and creatures can interact in. Don’t railroad your adventure through the tyranny of the map.

Or through your preconceived notions that the characters are Good. They might just be after treasure. Or mucking about. Or any of 1000 other motivations. "If the characters do X then force an alignment check." That's specific advice for the designers game and their chosen style of play. These sorts of enforced morality positions don't need to be included to clog up the text.
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