Monday, January 4, 2016

Stolen Plots For Opening Acts

This Friday I ran the first session of my L5R game's 4th generation. We had a fun time with a solid adventure. I know it is a solid adventure because I didn't write it. I enjoyed it as a player at GenCon this past year when I sat at a table hosted by the great guy behind Sea of Stars RPG, Sean Holland, and it worked just as well for me at home as a GM as it did for me at GenCon as a player. So, thanks for that, Sean, and sorry for plagiarizing your content but it was just too good of an adventure to leave lying in my brain with my players unable to ever experience it.

Amazing, if stolen, adventure aside, the session went well. My players were eager to get back into the game - always a good sign - and to try out their new characters. I've been sick and tired this past week, but for whatever magical reason that just left me in a mood for game where I was willing to go a bit further/harder with the NPCs than normal and got some nice compliments from my players about certain people they've met.

All in all the game was a great success. Which is why I'm bringing it up. Not to brag (though, also that), or to tell the world I stole Sean Holland's adventure (though, also that as well), but to list some of the key elements as to why it worked out so well.

For easiness's sake, I'm just going to list those things out here.

  • I was clear with the players what expectations were of their character both in the world and for the game going in.
  • The players discussed their concepts with other players (not necessarily all of them) and designed aspects of their characters with other PCs in mind
  • The PCs made their own groups inside the party for various things.
Now, all three of these are basic and it isn't like we did the "we have a rogue and a mage so we need a tank and a cleric" type plotting of classic D&D and dungeon crawl games. Instead, the PCs made their own person, but added hooks and adventure tags that had the other PCs in mind. Two of the crab are siblings with built in rivalries for them. The two scorpion have a working relationship that is young enough to develop in game but established enough to let them work off the players' experience with each other.

It pulled on the group's experience with itself, the world, and the predefined guidelines and worked.

No one balked at the requirements on their characters (though I was light on them) and everyone found a way to play something they wanted inside those guidelines. The end result? A group of new PCs that fit in the world/beginning laid out for them, but that the players are eager to play. Definitely a win, and one that should be repeatable in most games.


  1. *Bows* Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

    Glad that your group enjoyed it, it has always produced satisfying games for me.

    1. imitation schmimitation, this was outright theft. :P Still, it was a lot of fun. Both times. :)

    2. Poor writers plagiarize, great writers steal.

      Looking forward to hearing how the game goes from there.