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Thread: Chapter/SideQuests/Scenes help

  1. #1

    Chapter/SideQuests/Scenes help

    Hi guys,

    I am currently playing with my friends but I have some problems related to the EXP associated with each different story part.

    I am planning a chapter based story which should be placed before the fellowship of the ring story arc (like a played background).

    My intentions are:
    ------- CHAPTERS:
    Chapter 1 = Find info about Rhun
    Chapter 2 = Find an help in the Dwarves
    Chapter 3 = Find info about Dol Guldur
    Chapter 4 = Find an help in the Elves of Lorien
    Chapter 5 = Prepare Mirkwood for the battle and the strategy
    Chapter 6 = Skirmish with Dol Guldur and Rhun

    Regarding the sidequests I have planned to do 3-4 sidequest for each chapter. This below are for the first one:
    SideQuest 1 = the esterlings ambush a dwarven camp
    SideQuest 2 = a luring assault from a werewolves tribe
    SideQuest 3 = infiltrate the Rhun army camp

    I think most of the sidequests are easily finished in 4-5 hours (which is the time we play each session).

    the question is:
    Are the sidequest (as I conceptualize them) actual sidequests or are they just a group of scenes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
    I would say your side-quests are mini-adventures. Like running through a short module on game night back in the heyday of D&D.

    Like an episode of a TV show that pops in in the middle of a seasonal story-arch but really has not much to do with the main arch of the season.

    You'll find lots of examples of this on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    If you read the Narrators chapter of LotR Core Rule book, it discusses in great detail how to set up each chapter of your chronicle. Using the three scene approach is a fantastic tool - which I honestly had never put into practice until Decipher released their games, but makes game night set up SO easy.

    Anyway with that in mind, take each of your chapters and design the basis of the three scenes. Allow for contingencies if the PC's go a different direction, and use your extra side quests as filler.

    In my chronicle - Triumph of the Witch-king - I came up with the basic premise, the heroes (out of ruind Cardolan) families were suffering from the plague that swept up out of the south and the only person they thought that might have an anser was Elrond.

    So, I got the map of the north - I recommend the old MERP stuff which is pretty readily available on the net, as it is detailed and has little ruins and towers along the Greenway and the East-West road. It makes it easy to put things in your story. I plotted out the course that was most likely the one PC's would choose - though we RP'ed out the different options and the potential threats with those paths - and I broke the route up into three chapters.

    I then filled in each chapter using the the three scene model. Obviously the goal of each chapter was to finish that leg of the journey, with the ultimate Chronicle goal of getting to Rivendell and finding a cure. With each scene I made different kind of obstacles - some skill based, some combat based, some were moral issues. (I.E. The PC's come along a dying encampment of hillmen from the north - their enemies. They had to decide whether it was right to try and help them).

    With each scene I also introduced new story branches that would come back into the story if they made this decision or that. I used recurring NPC heroes and villians and stessed the overwhelming oppressiveness of the plague (empty towns with a burnt out barn stacked with the bodies of the villagers) and the Witch-king's influences (carrion birds following and watching, barrows, orcs, wolves, etc.).

    So, to anwer your question - yes, do what you have done. Break your chronicle into chapters, and then into scenes, and side-scenes. If you can, use cut scenes! These were really nice additions that you can give to the players - even though they are not allowed to use anything from it - that tell them what else is going on in the story (i.e. with the villains).

    Your 'side scenes' will become 'side quests' only if the results of the scenes draw your players off into a new direction from the main Chronicle goal.

    I hope I helped with all my gabbing!

    Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
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    Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane, Foe-slaying
    Shadow bane, Skirmisher

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