RMBlog Adventure Notes

Titles/Classifications

Would it be helpful to categorize these mini-adventures for titling purposes? I would suggest:

 

  1. Theatre of the Mind. Conceptual encounters, adventures or situations.
  2. NPC Encounter. An interesting NPC, group or similar that can be dropped into play.
  3. Battle Encounter: A set piece with opponents, battle map, stats and GM notes.
  4. Layout. A small building, tomb, dungeon etc.

This would preface the title and give some information about the size/scope of the mini-adventure.

I do categorise supplements by product code to help differentiate them and separate them into different categories. Some fit in multiple categories of course. So all of these would fit in the overall Adventures category, plus also d100, and sub-types as well. That might sound a little confusing but it means they are displayed in a number of places.

Collaboration/Process

Would it be helpful to number each upload—this can be used for order of posting up and for work flow. If a doc needs work: graphics/layout/edit is there an easy way to mark it for needing work/finished etc.

I’m fine with input from others. Do we want to fileshare with redline edits? Do people just want to be responsible for their own docs?

At the moment I’m not terribly familiar with Google Drive, as evidenced by the number of times I accidentally created duplicates of this! Perhaps some files should definitely be fileshared, some not.

I am also fine with working with others. My first thought was that we could work on individual documents and then pass them on to the next person for proofing and editing. So we all are writers and editors

I have added a spreadsheet with 25 ideas. If Brian has 41 as he mentioned on the original post then we have the magic 66 so this is bound to be a killer project.

I also have a number of ideas I came up with for mini dungeons, so I don’t think ideas are going to be a problem (judging by my in-progress works and notes on ideas, ideas are rarely a problem!).

Am I right in thinking

Brian = black

Adrian = red

Peter = green

Just so I know who is thinking what.

Yes, that’s the case.

Regarding Workflow we could have a folder for ‘Work in progress’, one for ‘Awaiting Editing’ and one for ‘Awaiting Layout’ and ‘Completed’ and we move the file from folder to folder as it makes its way through the production line.

An alternative method is that every adventure gets its own folder. All the files that go into that adventure live in that one folder and we just do a Save As… and change the name after each stage. So We could have “Snakes on a wagon train DRAFT.docx” and “Snakes on a wagon train AWAITING PROOFING.docx” and so on. That is the way I have been doing my own documents so far.

I would probably go down the route for a folder for each project. That way you don’t have to remember to name each file in a consistent manner in order to find all the ones connected to a single project (having on more than one occasion mislabelled files resulting in needing to order by date modified). You could also have two overall folders, one for in progress projects and one for finished, and move the entire project folder across once it’s done.

That [every project in its own folder] makes sense to me. I also like the Completed projects folder.

Do you have a product code format that you use on OBS? The naming convention could be <Product Code>-<Friendly Name> eg ADV001-Snakes-on-a-Wagon-Train. That would make locating and sorting folders fairly quick and easy.

The basic code I use starts AG. Then the code depends on which categories. A simple generic things is AGT. A Pathfinder Things is AGPFT. Pathfinder Character Options is AGPFCO. Then there’s a number for the product, starting at 0001. As an example, for the most long-winded code, my filename for A Baker’s Dozen of Witch Hexes is AGPFC0001-WitchHexes. For these I would probably go with something like AGARB0001, or a variant of this (Adventure Rolemaster Blog). If there was a system, that might be tagged on as well. Which does mean that some of my codes are getting a little lengthy.

I was thinking it might be an idea to come up with structures for the different adventure types (I’ve been trying, and failing admittedly, to come up with design templates to speed up production myself). A list of what each needs, what sort of stages there are, that sort of thing. Not every adventure in each category would need to use every part of the structure, but some sort of template to follow could help speed things up.

Another thought – perhaps have links from some adventures to others. Not in such a way that it’s necessary to buy both, or all, of them, but enough to link them together if desired.

I have had exactly the same thought myself. I have just emailed Brian and asked if he has written up one of his adventures yet. If he has then I was going to write mine up in exactly the same format. Once you know what content you are looking at then that can point you to some layout choices.

As an example I have been releasing weekly Theatre of the Mind adventures which are similar to these. I have uploaded one to the folder so you can see what I arrived at.

I’ve added a file linking to templates I currently have, papers that can be bought and with samples of the four book covers I’ve currently created. It might be an idea to use a consistent template theme with adventure types.

I am all for using a consistent template. It just makes life so much easier.

I am not sure if Brian is reading this. Do you mind if I email and CC both of you in. If we then just do a Reply to all then we can all stay in the loop. I don’t want this to stagnate or die but without one of us actively pushing it forward then that is what will happen. I suspect that Brian is all about preparing for is holiday right now so my be otherwise occupied.

Email is fine, although Brian has uploaded two adventures already. I’ve been taking a look at them, and wondering just how elaborate we want the finished product to be. His Gauntlet on the Ice could be done as a simple two page adventure. Alternatively, it could be more elaborate – cover, front matter, adventure and possibly even a couple of battlemaps, one for the border of the lake, one for the ice. I think they shouldn’t be too hard to do. I even have a Frozen template pack: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/142304/Template-Pack-12-Frozen which could go nicely with the theme.

I would put each section on its own page and below the given text have an area for the GM Notes: box where they can put any game or campaign specific notes. I would then put an explanatory note for what that box is for in the introduction. That would give us 4 full pages plus front and back cover as a minimum. If you can add battle maps then that would add a few pages. The magic numbers are 6 pages and 12 pages excluding covers so if we ever wanted to do print on demand then they do not have to add blank pages to the end.

If you are happy with the size and format that Brian is producing then I will start to write up my adventures in the same style.

I do like  Lord Zsezse templates and if we were to use those exclusively then the adventures would have a consistent look and feel.

 

There’s also the option of two pages for a single card. I think the format looks good, so we can probably move forward from there.

I like the templates too; I use them for many of my supplements. Unfortunately they haven’t created a modern series yet (I’ve asked) or I’d probably be using them for all. Not every template set has rear covers – yet anyway – and frozen is one that lacks them. If needed, the front cover can always be duplicated of course.

I’ve uploaded an example battlemap for snow on ice. It’s 24” square although only 72 pixels resolution in PNG format. TIFF it’s 300.

I’ve now uploaded a PDF of Brian’s Gauntlet on the Ice. What do you think?

I like it. There is a heading Encounters that is right at the bottom of the page, orphaned from its content at the top of the next column (page 3)

Oops, I moved a line to another page and forget to check for how it had altered stuff after it.

Has Brian given you any feedback? He emailed me and said he was going to expand the text of some of his.

Not as yet but I don’t mind if things are expanded. The two PDFs I’ve uploaded are more examples for feedback than definitely finished. Okay, they can largely be used as-is, but altering or expanding them isn’t a problem.

Say, that randomly generated wilderness battlemap is decent isn’t it?

I thought so [the battlemap] the cave is less inspiring but perfectly functional.

I can probably improve on the cave map, using it as a template, without too much difficulty. I could do the same on the wilderness map too, but that would require more time to get a definite improvement.

Any cave system will do. I am not going to detail locations.

I’ve uploaded a map based on the cave map with some tweaks and at a higher resolution. With a larger version, I could add more polish to it.

Could you scale it so it takes up multiple pages like the ice lake in Gauntlet? (I am not asking you to right now, I am just thinking in the final product.)

Yes, I’d actually started on doing that first, but did this quickly just to see what it looked like. It does depend on how big the final product wants to be. The Gauntlet map is 1 square (1” when printed) = 5’. The grid for this map puts that at around 32” (9,600 pixels at 300 resolution) square. Do you want the final map around that size or something different? There isn’t really a problem in making a larger map; it will just have more pieces.

I’ve uploaded a new version of the cave battlemap, full size and 300 pixels resolution.

I have just seen the Cave map 2 and it is brilliant. That is exactly what I had in mind!

Thanks! Is everyone happy with the current examples of finished supplements? If so, I’ll get to work on more. What are we doing with Brian’s L50 adventures? They make a lot of IP references to Shadow World.

Everyone who has commented says that the ones you have done look great.

The 50th level ones I haven’t looked at in detail. Brian has more of an inside track with ICE than we have, he brother Matt is an RMU dev and he knows Terry much better than we do. If we concentrate on these 50 first we can then talk to Brian and discuss the IP viability of the 50th level ones. (That was a long winded ‘I don’t know’.)

I prefer ‘thorough’ to long-winded. I don’t think I had realised that Brian and Matt were brothers. I knew they had the same surname, but had never really thought about it.

I’ll start moving forward with the others. The order in which they are done probably won’t be the same as the order in which they are currently numbered; it depends on the extras that need doing/purchasing for them. I’ve made notes on these for most of the adventures so far. I’ve also got InDesign CS6 now (both samples were done with it; actually I have the entire CS6 package now) and it’s quite a bit better than Scribus. It does work a bit differently, so I’m still learning how to do things.

Is there a back cover ‘background’ to the spires artwork? I keep thinking that the two page form is just a bit abrupt. If necessary we could come up with 10 possible ‘truths’ behind the spire eg 1) it is a prison for the last survivors of a deadly race. 2) it is a beacon to an other worldly horror looking for worlds to consume. 3) it is an ark in which two of each of the intelligent races can take refuge… and so on. just to get a third page and then stick a cover on the back?

Yes, that’s one of the designs that has a rear cover as well. I like the idea of truths; perhaps there could be nested ones as well, elaborating further (doesn’t mean that they are correct though). I don’t consider the sample uploaded finished anyway (either of them for that matter really) – for one thing I intend to redo the spire image so that it more accurately represents Brian’s description. The current one is a bit pointy.

I have had an idea… Every adventure so far starts with the following note in one form or another; “This product is a mini-adventure for use with d100 game systems. Due to IP issues, creatures, stats or system specific items aren’t included. This adventure if part of the ongoing Rolemasterblog.com Adventure series that includes a range of encounter ideas, interesting NPC’s, adventures and layouts to be dropped into current gameplay.”

In fact as we are not actually giving any game stats at all why bother mentioning d100 game systems? What I have done is mention 5e and Pathfinder alongside Rolemaster quite often. In Star Mangled Manor I mention a Rolemaster demon, a Raukamar, and and the 5e/PF Balor as an alternative.

It is easy to convert 5e/PF monsters to RM. Why don’t I create a RM Balor? While I am at it in Where Eagles Dare I have used a Roc as a monster. Why don’t I create a brand new monster called a RocVulture. I can then give the RM stats (no IP issues as it is my creation) and the 5e/PF stats for the same creature.

We can change that opening note to read ‘mini adventure for use with the most popular game systems’ and the bit about IP issues we can drop as we can now stat up the monsters.

I haven’t used many monsters. I have used Black Stalkers but there is a difference between an 5e black stalker and a RM black stalker. I could fuse the two taking the best of both and call it a Black Assassin or Black Hunter. I have use a Demon but I can create a RM Balor so that is a new monster. The Roc I have already mentioned. I have used Gargoyles but I can create my own Greater Gargoyle, just levelling up the standard one.

If I go back over all of my adventures once I have written up the 25 ideas and in a separate document put the monster stats for the new monsters you can then add them into the final document. We also then get a new selling point of these adventures contain a new monster.

By having them in a separate document we also have a potential new supplement in the form of a cross system ‘monster manual’. I want to try and get into creating monster art. I am no artist but I think I can do something with photoshop and filters. It will be an interesting experiment at the least.

I had actually thought about converting the adventures to Pathfinder and 5E once the d100 ones had been completed (incidentally, isn’t the Balor simply a D&D Balrog?). I had also considered then taking a look into making the Pathfinder/5E versions into Fantasy Grounds modules. Monster art, well I’ve largely been looking at other artists for that, perhaps pricing them up to see how much they would cost. If I can run a Patreon campaign to generate a bit of income, I can get custom art with no up front risk (I have a few in-progress Pathfinder monsters, and I think monsters do need pictures).

Oh, to advertise true Pathfinder compatibility requires operating under the Pathfinder Compatibility License: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility

It’s no big deal, I’ve published a few products under it, but it might mean that Pathfinder-compatible products are better published just for that system.

Ok, PF was just a thought.

Yes I think a Balor is a 5e/PF Balrog but RM doesn’t have a Balrog, that was MERP and ICE don’t have the license for that any more. By the time I converted things back and forth it will hopefully be less recognisable.

I am still in favour of converting these to as many formats as possible to gain the widest audience.

Me too, I am definitely in favour of getting as many people as possible, so don’t rule Pathfinder out. It may just have to be done differently.

Have you seen how Raging Swan have started converting some of their products? They have the original Pathfinder version (where they started) but some are now also available in system-neutral and 5E versions.

I haven’t but I will take a look. I think that is the way to go. It is relatively easy to stat up NPCs and monsters for different systems.

My thought was to publish the adventures as d100/generic to start with, then convert them to Pathfinder and 5E, with separate editions for each, if everyone is okay with that. Then possibly convert the Pathfinder and 5E versions into Fantasy Grounds modules.

Ok, yes. My thought was to maximise the revenue and I am entirely open to all suggestions that help. I also think that only you and I are checking this document.

Yes, I’m getting that impression regarding checking this. Perhaps we should set something else up for group communication that people check.

There are of course other systems too, although 5E and Pathfinder get a huge chunk of the market between them. As well as the legacy D&D systems, there are also such as Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord, which are still getting stuff written for them. One publisher releases their adventures for Pathfinder, 5E, S&W, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Savage Worlds and Castles and Crusades.

5 thoughts on “RMBlog Adventure Notes”

  1. I’m going to upload the last 4 adventure hooks in the next week and then will go back to #1 and do a final run through, polish them up with any charts or layouts and put them in a “Finished” file.

    If we do 1 adventure/week starting Sept 1 I feel like we have ample time to do this right.

  2. I have finished the initial write up of my 25.

    I have created two new monsters for RM and I am going to go back over earlier ones to create more monsters in place of standard RM ones.

    This means we can offer full stats and not break IP rules as we will own the monsters.

    The two so far are a Roc Vulture, similar to a Roc but my variation and a Velociraptor, the iconic dinosaur from Jurasic Park etal.

    Once I have created as many monsters as I can I will try and create new spell lists for each of my caster NPCs.

  3. I’m putting my last adventure up tomorrow and then will go back and start with #1 polishing them up for Sept 1 start. Once each is done I’ll put in a new folder with any other files (maps, stats) to indicate it’s complete.

  4. The OBS Christmas in July sale is just round the corner now; it should be possible to pick up some stock art for creatures at a reduced price with any luck.

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Articles and discussion on Roleplaying in general and various settings including Shadow World, Forgotten Realms and Aioskoru. We talk about pen and paper roleplaying as well as play by post. We have a strong interest in Rolemaster but also play and love other games