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Do you use highlighters in your published adventures.

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#1 gmanjkd



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

Do any of you use highlighters in your published adventures?  If so do you have a specific method, such as Yellow = things that can be read alowed to pc's. Red = NPC description, etc.  


Im considering using highlighters and would like to know If any of you have a tried and true method or ideas as to what has worked for you.



#2 DurakBlackaxe



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:45 AM

If your talking about the highlighter pens. Theres a reason I never allow things with ink near anything I play due to accidents.  You can never get them off a talent card etc.

I have alot of pencils and rubbers (erasers, i think people call them these days).

If your talking about highlighting with a wordprocessor. Thats why I plan ahead and use the computer.

When I used to write adventures over 20 years ago, been 15 odd years since I wrote one, you get out of practice.  I used to type up speeches in my wordprocessor, and used various font colours based on various factors, friendly to the speaker, angry at the speaker. Had to be situational though, many the time, the speech I wrote couldnt be used cause the players had done something totally unexpected. One being they used a fire elemental to burn through a locked wooden door to get to the encounter leader who had ran in there. Closed room, no ventation for the smoke, no speech. Luckily he happened to have had a diary :/

For walking into a room, green text was what you said to players, black text was gm instructions to yourself, yellow/gold text was what you said if they passed a check. Red if they failed some check.  It might have been colourful, but once you knew what the colours meant it ran quite well.

I always made sure everything relating to one area or person was on one page, so there be no flicking around looking for it. 

#3 Veteres



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

I like wfrp 3ed stuff immensely. BUT I do find the scenario's (and to be true, basically all the publications) -to put it mildly -a bit chaotically structured (perhaps intentionally -pun) -therefore painting your copies definitely seems inefficient to me, as it will just add to the maelstrom

For a over year I have been experimenting with different methods of preparing a good wfrp 3ed session (although introduced to wfrp in the 80ies, I had never truely GM'ed, plus I had a 15 yrs rpg break.  So one could say I restarted as a noob GM/rpger)

I tried different approaches. Some of them failed miserably. Other's just didn't seem to evoke the magic I was expecting. Recently things seem to improve … a combination of treads on this forum (forgot which ones) gave me a puch in the right direction.

Nowadays as a preperation I make up the following:

- a chronology (all dates relevant for the scenario and campaign setting)

- npc cards (how does the npc look? in 4 max 5 words + tier indication + carreer (helas, not on the fancy Strange Eons cards, as I am totally uncapable  working with the program -I just print and cut up a word file as handouts for the players)

- npc description (for GM): including npc card info (reduced up to 3 words) and surmising npc's relevant world views, behaviour in different situations, sometimes skill rolls related to that npc (e.g. pc's meet Asschafenberg, roll D2 folklore/education for what you know on the noble family)

-location description (for GM): 3-4 words of description, related skill rolls (e.g. Grunewald defences: D3 athlectics to cross in min. 3 manoeuvres), names of npc associated with location

-scenario path: a bullet point list describing a logical (expected) series of events/acts crossrefering to npc's and locations

AND all this I extract/puzzle from the publications. Truely a labour intensive approach. But an approach that works for me. An approach that deconstructs the written scenario in individual building stones and leaves the construction for the rpgsession with GM and the player's.


#4 AM_Odin



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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

I don't use highligters in the books as I would still have to go through it page by page following the players. In stead I make a summary of the adventure. I use one page A4 max per scene with name and one sentence descriptions of the mayor npc's. I can hang that on my GM screen so I remember who is who in a village. For the acts I use shortened versions. I reduced the 51 pages of the Witch's Song to a 7 page summary with practically every chapter reduced to a single A4 detailing the most important parts of the different acts. NPC's are cards (very useful) and for complex things I always make a note in the summary to the right page. I never read the descriptions and monologues given in the books. It is more a guideline as to what is going to be said then what will be said if it is up to me. So my advice is skip the highligers and go for a summary.

#5 Ceffyl



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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Some great ideas here for preparation.

I also summarize my notes and ideas into a Word document with notes on NPCs, key challenges, any customizations, etc. Pulling key information out from the module is part of my learning process, too. I usually embed maps (so I can draw on them) and stats for any monsters or NPCs used in the campaign. Key scenes may have descriptions written out. Battles are run using an Excel sheet with critter stats and special abilities all on one sheet. This makes an easy references for running the battle.


#6 Glorian Underhill

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:53 AM

As said great ideas. I for myself just highlite the sentences I can read to the PCs.


Additionally I write for combat a list with wounds and ace for every single monster. Instead of tokens I go faster with my pencil reducing dice from the pool and reducing wounds.

#7 Gitzman



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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:55 AM

I love highlighting the books.  Here is what i have found works for me.

I highlight in a light blue (because i like blue) all the text that is safe to read to the PCs.  I do this for two reasons.  First, it lest me know what is safe to read without giving away any important secrets, but more importantly, second, it gives me a very select chunk of text i can read to quickly reveiw a session, or upcomign event without worrying about missing important components or reading every word.

I also go back in and use a red ballpoint or felt pen and underline NPC names, Locations and the occasional other bit that is important for me to know.  Often this results in unerlining a person in most blue highlighted paragraphs which makes is SUPER easy at a skimming glance to know who the subject matter of a certain paragraph is, or what location it takes place in.

I find the above method to be particularly effective in non-linear adventures where the GM might be called to run an encounter at varying locations within the campaign book.

I posted a picture of my Enemy Within Book on our facebook page here:



#8 Jericho



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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

Hello everyone,

I've been GMing for over 20 years now and have a group of very dedicated role-players. We drink, eat, and play our roles as often as possible in character. Funny voices and all.

I GM convoluted political Enemy Within style investigative adventures with regular major scraps involving as much as 5 or 6 different types of NPCs…

I have 6 players. 5 of them are available to play at any one time, usually.

I use published material but very much reworked and rewritten. My campaign notes are 50 pages up to now. Mind boggling. I would typically bring everything to each game, just in case. But in the action, I don't have time to look up anything.


I compile in a few pages all info that might be useful for that particular session. I reprint material, I regroup other stuff (stats, locations, info on enemy agendas, encounter descriptions). So each Session printout is also a campaign log. I write on it, and keep everything stacked session per session.

This way, I have 5 pages average of actual text to cover the needs of the whole session. And I have traces of all that has happened for ulterior use.

Takes about an hour to prepare, but often, in a session we won't even get through what I had prepared. So let's say a half hour on average.


This method makes things so much easier for me ! If I use a printed adventure, I can just make point form memos of what I think is going to happen and have page number refs. just in case.


Oh and lastly, I always ask my players what they intend to do on the get go to get prepared "in the right direction". Of course sometimes, I pop a surprise encounter right from the start of a session and completely derail their plans… :)

The time of change has come!

#9 Veteres



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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:15 AM

Asking the PC's what their plans are, indeed gives you something to focus your prep. Thanks for the tip Jericho!

My prep time for Eye for an Eye (now 2 sessions played, Dinner planned for next session) has amounted up to an average of a staggering average 10 hrs a session… amazing to hear people running sessions on just an hour prep time.

I really do need to deconstruct the FFG texts to set the building blocks for the adventure. Which takes a lot of time. Would be happy to share my prep notes (distilled npc notes, scenario path and anotated maps). Would be interested to get some feedback.

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