Monday, November 2, 2009

NPC scripted scene

In my last post I talked about doing an NPC scripted scene in an upcoming adventure. Well, last night I ran that scene. I'd been waiting until the party had finished their current adventure. The scene was meant to act as an interlude between the last adventure and the next. Up until this point the Patriarch of the church would call the PCs into a meeting and offer them a new chance to adventure. This time was a little different. I have used Google Docs to create the document and have shared it here:

To give you a little background, the characters have just completed a successful mission to capture the chaotic cleric Elwyn who had made off with a holy artifact. The cleric and artifact were returned to threashold and the custody of the Baron Sherlane Halaran, who is also the Patriarch for the Church of Karameikos.

Normally the players would not find out what happens to Elwyn after they turn her over to the Baron nor would they see what leads up to the Baron calling on the PCs for assistance. This little scene does that and more.

In addition to the backdrop each of the characters in the scene with Elwyn have a tie to one of the characters. The Patriarch and Aleena are both members of the Church to which one character belongs. Lady Halia is mentor to the magic user in the party. Porthios is mentor to an elf in the party and Lady Halia's husband can act as a mentor to any fighters in the group.

With these mentors more formally introduced I inserted a role-play scene in which the PCs had an opportunity to interact with their mentors prior to meeting with the Baron. This was a fun scene with no real goal other than to give the players a chance to expand upon their characters. It also pointed out that the thief in the party had no such mentor; something that will be addressed in upcoming play.

The scripted interlude also allowed me to introduce an important NPC for the upcoming adventure: Commander Castellan. This helped to prepare the PCs with the eventual meeting with the commander.

All in all, the scripted scene was well received and I was very pleased with the results. The scene when a long way to making the PCs adventures set more firmly into a world deep and rich in detail. The scene went a long way to help ground the actions of the PCs into a larger framework, will still keeping the focus on them.

I highly recommend using this simple tool for adding more depth to your role-playing experience. I wish I had more time to devote to the scripting (I posted it with all the typos still in it), but I don't want to take too much away from the spontaneity of the game. Scripted scenes are great for fleshing out the story, foreshadowing and epilogue. I want to thank Rich and Ryan for talking about in an episode of the Canon Puncture podcast. I've mentioned this and other podcasts I listen to in a previous post. Ryan's excellent Master Plan podcast on game design can be found at

I'll have more updates soon. Until then, follow your bliss.


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