So here is a question.

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Goodmush
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So here is a question.

Post by Goodmush » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:38 pm

I picked up CoC 6th ed. A while ago now and have been gearing up to run "In aDifferent Light" by Dean Engelhardt. Now normally I dont have a problem running a game but Call of Cthulhu is a major shift I the styles I am more familiar with. Also adjusting to the prewriten modules has been shifting my paradigm. So here is my question: How do you set up a game when using a prewriten game? How do you build out the scenes and organize the information into a path the players can walk on?
Now I know everone has there own style and I will eventually develop my own, I am just wondering how others have done this.

Thanks.

Keeper Jon
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by Keeper Jon » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:30 am

Hi Goodmush. I haven't read "In A Different Light," so I don't know how the scenario is designed. I assume that it contains a suggestion on how the investigators become involved into the mystery, and then I assume it shapes a timetable for when certain events occur, and when/where certain critical clues can be discovered. All of that is usually pretty basic in any published CoC scenario.

My advice would be this: read the scenario again, but this time see if you can put yourself in Dean Engelhardt's shoes. See if you can see and understand the scenario he wrote through his eyes. Try to take ownership of the scenario and the plot contained within it. Once you sink yourself into it, I think you'll start to "feel" the scenario, and you'll become more attuned to it. Once that happens, I think the questions that you're asking yourself will just begin to fall into place. And maybe you change some things in the scenario so that they better suit your style of game management, or your player's style of game play. Changing a published scenario to suit either or both of those conditions is totally acceptable, (and in some cases not only expected, but required).

I hope this advice helps. Honestly, I do this with every published scenario that I consider running. I'm not sure if you've had a chance to listen to "The Illsley Variant," it is a scenario I ran for my podcast co-hosts. I read the scenario a couple of times to see if it was something I would be comfortable running, and to see if there was anything from myself that I wanted to infuse into it. And I did. I created a homunculus monster to be the main villain's little spy and familiar. It was great. He carried the little guy in a briefcase. But it was something not in the published scenario that I added in because I knew it was something that I could use to reshape some aspects of the published scenario to my style of game mastering.

etopp
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by etopp » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:44 am

Keeper Jon wrote:My advice would be this: read the scenario again, but this time see if you can put yourself in Dean Engelhardt's shoes. See if you can see and understand the scenario he wrote through his eyes. Try to take ownership of the scenario and the plot contained within it. Once you sink yourself into it, I think you'll start to "feel" the scenario, and you'll become more attuned to it. Once that happens, I think the questions that you're asking yourself will just begin to fall into place. And maybe you change some things in the scenario so that they better suit your style of game management, or your player's style of game play. Changing a published scenario to suit either or both of those conditions is totally acceptable, (and in some cases not only expected, but required).
Very good advice. I would add:
1. Read the scenario as you would a story. If you don't like it, maybe try another scenario.
2. Re-read the scenario making notes. Is there a lot of work to do?
3. Make changes to add your own ideas. Does it suit the style of your players?
4. Re-read the scenario. Check that your changes don't leave out important clues, locations and/or NPCs.

KeeperAntUK
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by KeeperAntUK » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:40 am

etopp wrote:
Keeper Jon wrote:My advice would be this: read the scenario again, but this time see if you can put yourself in Dean Engelhardt's shoes. See if you can see and understand the scenario he wrote through his eyes. Try to take ownership of the scenario and the plot contained within it. Once you sink yourself into it, I think you'll start to "feel" the scenario, and you'll become more attuned to it. Once that happens, I think the questions that you're asking yourself will just begin to fall into place. And maybe you change some things in the scenario so that they better suit your style of game management, or your player's style of game play. Changing a published scenario to suit either or both of those conditions is totally acceptable, (and in some cases not only expected, but required).
Very good advice. I would add:
1. Read the scenario as you would a story. If you don't like it, maybe try another scenario.
2. Re-read the scenario making notes. Is there a lot of work to do?
3. Make changes to add your own ideas. Does it suit the style of your players?
4. Re-read the scenario. Check that your changes don't leave out important clues, locations and/or NPCs.
All good advice :D

My thoughts are similar. Find the story being told within the scenario and read it until you 'have' it. Once you 'have' the story you will see how the scenes and locations etc are hung on it. Add tentacles as required. Bake in a medium oven and serve whilst still warm ;)

monkey prime
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by monkey prime » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:41 pm

For me I tend to work it out as a timeline, do certain events need to happen at certain times? I also use post-its as tabs so I can find scenes or characters easily. If there is large fight scenes or a large number of NPCs in a scene, I write out their stats and their belongings again with a cross-reference to the book I'm using so i can find them quickly. Also read it a couple of times, once to find if you like the story (it tends to be if I can visualize part of it then I know I can convey that to my players), a second time to see if you can follow the path through or what you might need to alter so there is a clear path and then a third time to pick out key points and characters.

Dr. Gerard
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by Dr. Gerard » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:45 pm

Read it once all the way through. Pick out the main themes of the scenario and figure out what is the "crux" of the story and what are the "goochers." The crux is a part of the story when the plot deepens or accelerates, usually a scene or two before a possible conflict scene. "Goochers" are the creepiest, most ambient or disturbing details of the scenario. Those are things that you want your players to remember most after it's all over.

On the second reading, I print or photocopy the scenario, and use yellow and pink highlighters for important text.

Yellow: The most important text in any given scene or section. Usually it's a summary sentence, key descriptions, etc.
Pink: Pivot points in the plot that will drive the game forward. These are usually events that might happen TO the investigators or key clues and information that the party needs to move deeper into the scenario.

I also circle sections in pen that are hard to understand, choke points and problem areas or anywhere I need to change something. I write in the margins to remind myself to revisit the problem areas later.

Then I use 3x5 note cards to create a stack if handy references for the game. Each scene or key location gets a card, and on the card I write all of the clues or interviews or encounters for the scene or location. Then each key NPC gets a note card with a list of three or more key characteristics for role play, important information that they know, and basic stats if combat is at all likely. Monsters likewise get their own card. Sometimes I use a pink highlighter for cards that have key plot points, clues and information like in the photocopied scenario.

If there is a possible combat scene with lots of foes, I fill out a single card with all of the DEX, Dodge, HP and attack information that I'll need to run the combat.

I do all of this as a way to do what Jon and others are suggesting -- to get it into my bones. It's like organizing your notes and making flashcards to study for a test -- in reality it's just a way to digest the information and it's the same as studying.

But when you do all of this, you'll have a stack of 3x5 cards that will let you run the scenario without ever having to look at the book. If I have a Keeper's screen on hand, I will use paper clips to hang up important cards for reference.
Keeper of the Cthulhu Dark "Secret Everest Expedition" PbP scenario
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KeeperAntUK
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Re: So here is a question.

Post by KeeperAntUK » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:00 pm

Dr. Gerard wrote:Read it once all the way through. Pick out the main themes of the scenario and figure out what is the "crux" of the story and what are the "goochers." The crux is a part of the story when the plot deepens or accelerates, usually a scene or two before a possible conflict scene. "Goochers" are the creepiest, most ambient or disturbing details of the scenario. Those are things that you want your players to remember most after it's all over.

On the second reading, I print or photocopy the scenario, and use yellow and pink highlighters for important text.

Yellow: The most important text in any given scene or section. Usually it's a summary sentence, key descriptions, etc.
Pink: Pivot points in the plot that will drive the game forward. These are usually events that might happen TO the investigators or key clues and information that the party needs to move deeper into the scenario.

I also circle sections in pen that are hard to understand, choke points and problem areas or anywhere I need to change something. I write in the margins to remind myself to revisit the problem areas later.

Then I use 3x5 note cards to create a stack if handy references for the game. Each scene or key location gets a card, and on the card I write all of the clues or interviews or encounters for the scene or location. Then each key NPC gets a note card with a list of three or more key characteristics for role play, important information that they know, and basic stats if combat is at all likely. Monsters likewise get their own card. Sometimes I use a pink highlighter for cards that have key plot points, clues and information like in the photocopied scenario.

If there is a possible combat scene with lots of foes, I fill out a single card with all of the DEX, Dodge, HP and attack information that I'll need to run the combat.

I do all of this as a way to do what Jon and others are suggesting -- to get it into my bones. It's like organizing your notes and making flashcards to study for a test -- in reality it's just a way to digest the information and it's the same as studying.

But when you do all of this, you'll have a stack of 3x5 cards that will let you run the scenario without ever having to look at the book. If I have a Keeper's screen on hand, I will use paper clips to hang up important cards for reference.
:science:

You Sir, are a steely-eyed missileman .... I bow to you ....

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