This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: [GM Prep] Obstacle construction  (Read 207 times)

RedFox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • R
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
    • http://www.crimsonvulpine.com/
[GM Prep] Obstacle construction
« on: February 03, 2007, 03:57:20 am »
Well I've been fretting over game-prep for today's session, including posting this thread.  mrlost had some good suggestions, but still wanting to come up with a method rather than simply rely on other peoples' ideas, I finally cooked up something that seems to work well for me.

It works well in-tandem (or zoomed-in detail, perhaps) with the awesome Adventure Funnel thing.  Basically it works like this:

First, come up with the Goal (or even multiple goals).  As Robin Laws says, a goal should be a simple statement, beginning with some sort of action.  It should have a definite conclusion point.

For my session, the goal was defined as: Get through the blockade.

Next, we work on obstacles.  This is the next step in the Adventure Funnel, but my brain needed a little more structure.  In this case, a simple framework:

(noun) (action) (noun), preventing the PCs from (achieving goal)


I found that this got my brain revving up in the right sort of way and finally managed to come up with four or so obstacles that work for me.  Fleshing them out shouldn't be too difficult.  Here's my examples:

1. Sindran patrol ships block the channel.
2. Sindran wizards summon a whirlpool.
3. Sigfried challenges Crispin
   because he has stolen the map.
4. The kraken rips off the Mako's main-mast
   from beneath the waves.

As you can see, the first obstacle is the most obvious one.  The other three are added complications.  In each case, the statement has a phantom appendage of "...preventing the PCs from running the blockade."

In cases 3 and 4, I've added what might be termed "details" in the Adventure Funnel parlance.  These are just things that give the obstacles added context.

I realize that this framework may be highly individualized to my thought process, but I found that it really helped me brainstorm ideas, so figured I'd share it with the board.