JP On Gaming

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Avatar of the Kaga: NeoExodus Adventures

One of the many points of discussion at LPJ Design (and I have to assume most other RPG publishers as well) is the question "How can we get people to play more of our stuff?" Though LPJ doesn't want to hear it, for me the reason many of us old-time gamers remember fondly playing through the old TSR module: I6 Ravenloft, I13 Egg of the Phoenix, "The Temple" (of Elemental Evil), City of the Spider Queen, White Plume Mountain (for LPJ)... Those name evoke among the old, old guard memories of insane traps, combats and "you have to know what [name] did here". Though I did play games from those days I don't want to go back to the heydays of 1e or 2e. I quit playing D&D because the game was too restrictive... But that's another rant/post.

So... To me, the success of these adventures came not from the fact that they were great or solid adventures, in fact most of them were just elaborate death traps where you could laugh at your friends for doing stupid things. Then you would meet up with "a random cleric walking through the dungeon on his own" and you'd watch your buddy do the same stupid crap. Again. Then meet a cleric. It was fun. Lighthearted, but really fun.

Although I have never been a big fan of the dungeoncrawl, I realize their need and importance in fantasy gaming. I was lucky enough to be given games with a strong story and plot component. L'Oeil Noir's "Le Fleuve du Désastre", "Le Tournoi des Félons" and the one adventure you could never live through: "Les Esclaves d'Al Anfa". Okay I won't spoil the punch, but the first one is a murder mystery. The second one's plot involves the PCs trying to stop a big political assassination and the third one is just... Well... it's nasty! You should not be overly surprised that the themes I mentioned find themselves in NeoExodus! Seriously... don't.

With the firm conviction that the best way to sell a setting like NeoExodus is play in it. To discover it through adventure. To experience it. The only way I know how to do so is by playing in adventures. By making adventures that would reveal a little more of the setting to the players (and eventual GMs).

One company that does a great job of doing exactly that is Paradigm Concept (PCI). Where all of the major elements of their storyline happen in their adventures, allowing the players to make up their minds about how they feel about what's going on. Paizo does well, but in a different way, through their adventure path, the players get to discover about a place in the world and get to explore and experience it.

At LPJDesign, I wanted to bring a little of both these approaches. And so far, I think we are doing fine. The problem: the adventures aren't out yet (I won't go into detail, but they are "about ready to go").

Tomorrow, I'll detail the 4 different series of adventure we have written for NeoExodus! Stay tuned as there are going to be a few surprise announcements in there... (but don't tell LPJ)


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