Well, here it is, the last episode from our second session in the Silvervine campaign. I appologize for the lack of humor and action. I did have a fight ready to go, but it was just too much fun following what the players were doing. So consider this a “behind the scenes look” at shared world-building. In this episode, the “heroes” hire some employees for their newly acquired tavern, and we discuss possible future plot hooks. I do hope you are entertained and enlightened and disturbed.
It seems a little chaotic, but that is how I like to run a game; and I find such a technique highly successful too. It avoids the dreaded “GM Railroad” and gives the players more control. Essentially, I create several plot hooks, and see which ones the players nibble on. With each plot hook I brainstorm several possible outcomes that the PC’s are likely to take, and then I create even more options from there. That might sound like a lot of extra work, but it isn’t. Whatever plot hook or adventures the PC’s don’t take now can still be used later – sometimes as-is, sometimes just slightly “re-skinned” or modified.
For example, in this episode, the players have several choices:
- Explore the Sewer – a classic dungeon-crawl, Silvervine style (this might tie into Squirmy’s and/or Professor Mora’s character-arc)
- Bounty Hunt – from the bulletin board at the other tavern (this one ties into Bonsai’s character-arc)
- Monster Hunt – also from the bulletin board, this is more about exploring the world and creatures of Cyrus
- Mechanist Machinations – also from the bulletin board; a favor-within-a-favor adventure
- Sob Stories – they hear tales of woe from customers and try and help (think Knight Rider or Person of Interest)
- Will’s Mentor – dragon elves are supposed to have mentors, Will lost contact with his long ago . . .
- Political Shake-Up – Why was Professor Mora “fired”?
As you can probably tell, some of the above are more fleshed-out than others. And for each one there is at least two outcomes based on success or failure. Some even have multiple middle-ground possibilities. The key is to think “What thingS are likely to happen?” rather than “What do I think would be cool?” The “S” on “things” is intentionally highlighted. Consider multiple possibilities; consider the interests of each player and the potential development of each character. Some adventures are likely to favor or spotlight one character over the others. This is fine, so long as each player has his/her turn as the campaign progresses.
Also, we haven’t yet gotten together for our third session. So next week I might just do a podcast on the Silvervine system itself so that those not familiar with the system can follow along with the mechanical jargon. So stay tuned and keep rolling!
Oh, and my favorite line of this episode:
Ryan/GM: “Do you even have an alignment?”
Mike/Squirmy: “Me and my can.”