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QUOTE (Mantis @ Aug 23 2020, 01:48 PM) *
Your 10 minute idea sounds waaaaay better than damn near anything CGL has done in years. I think the problem lies in exactly what Fuel Drop and you mention; that some of the writers seem too intent on writing novels featuring their favorite characters rather than adventures for players and GMs to show off their own characters and make their own mark on the story. They are not, in fact writing adventures, but rather novels or screen plays (bad ones at that).
Maybe they should take some courses on writing adventures or at least remember it is a role playing game, not a movie or whatever.
Of course none of this matters since CGL has long since stopped listening to anything on Dumpshock.

I wouldn't downplay the difficulty of writing something like that, execution is 10 times as important as the idea. Consider what you might think about a story where a sponge is friends with a squid and starfish, and works in the fast food industry. Or even, Neuromancer but with dragons and elves. Both these things seem somewhat bonkers, but when well-executed can be popular or interesting.

It's appreciated, though wink.gif

Another thing about writing adventures- a GM/writer might play through a game with their players, and think "oh, that was fun! I ought to write an adventure on that!" The adventure probably was fun, but the GM/writer could focus on the wrong details. Instead of giving tools to recreate the experiences the players had, the GM/writer recreates the plot of what happened.

IE, in the game: Sammy has a sweet moment where she holds off an entire HTR team for 5 rounds while Decky gets control of the security systems. Then, Decky is able to leverage the corp's defenses against them and clear the path for Sammy and Decky to escape with the MacGuffin.

If the writer isn't drawing on the right elements, they might end up building an adventure where the PCs escort Decky to the building, and then they must hold off HTR for 5 rounds. Perhaps they're aided by Sammy, or HTR is weaker than normal to avoid a TPK. This would recreate the plot, but would be a different experience, and the 5 rounds would feel "gamey."

If the writer instead wanted to recreate the experience, they would do the following:
* HTR has a fast response time. For XYZ reasons, they're focused on containing the threat with as little damage to the building as possible. This will enable the PCs to get into a standoff
* Maps for that office floor will have lots of cover (Strong metal desks, or maybe expensive research equipment that the corp doesn't want destroyed), and maybe some things that the PCs can turn to their advantage while holding off HTR (Water sprinkler system to affect visibility? Maybe a drop ceiling that Sammy can crawl around in?)
* Crucially, HTR isn't nerfed or buffed to try and affect the standoff: if it's an easier fight because the players can take advantage of the environment, the players will be satisfied. If it's an easier fight because you gave ganger stats to the HTR, the players will not be satisfied
* Most importantly: the standoff cannot be forced, or with a set limit. There's no reason to railroad if the PCs think of a clever way out that the writer's party didn't think of.

This is just one example, and it didn't occur in any adventure or anything like that. There are a lot of things about running adventures and writing that just take experience to do.

The one thing that bothered me a lot about 30 Nights (And I will keep reiterating it) is the shutdown of player agency. With recurring, named NPCs, I usually will give them one dirty trick to get away. If the PCs subvert that, I won't push it beyond that. IE, I once had a blood mage try to go out with a bang by casting a fireball centered on herself. The PCs ended up successfully healing and interrogating her, so they got ahold of the information I didn't want to divulge yet. Nothing about her automatically being dead, or randomly giving her a cyanide pill anyways. It's a lot easier to adjust "your" plot and rearrange events than it is to restore player confidence in their characters' abilities to have an effect on events.
I tend to avoid anything related to the published metaplot in my adventures, unless I can make it about the PCs. This is their adventure, not Author Avatar's. I also try and avoid any of the big players (like Harlequin), since they tend to be show stealers.

I am more than happy to build a much smaller metaplot tailored to the characters. My current game revolves largely around a mysterious Angel (helper/employer) who has helped each of the PCs flee their old life and become runners in some way (everything from elevating gutter thugs to rescuing them from prison on the night of their execution). They've been pulled together into a runner team and provided communal housing and resources, and are free to take whatever runs they want. but occasionally their angel calls upon them to do a free run that furthers the metaplot or brings in a new team member.

Not complex, but some mystery (who is the Angel and what is their endgame), a very personal connection for the team, ect.

The communal housing is also great for between runs as it allows the PCs to interact outside of work, which is a very different dynamic.
I think the biggest failure in SR writing history is, no shit, taking the comments out of the gear books.

Little Twitter-scale runner commentary sprung so many viable plots.
I might actually pick up a gear book if they did that- these days, I mostly read the books, I don't actually end up playing any of them.
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