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MrFedExPDX

Advice for running an Adventure module or other pre made adventures.

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I just got done running the beginner game adventure "Mountaintop rescue" and I am now going to attempt running " Lure of the lost" and just would like some advice/tips for running a set adventure.

 

1. Good tips for keeping players on track with the story and not getting story derailed by choices the PC's want to make that will completely change the story and leave me no where to go...

 

2. How much information to inform the players about that is going on in the story. I had the 1 person in my group who has played a lot of RPG's in the past warned me once on "information overload". example would be Me telling the PC's the NPC's stats that they are going up against.

 

3. Adjusting the story on the fly if it seems better? is this kosher at an RPG table when dealing with an adventure module?

 

I am still pretty new to this and would like some advice on how to run these type of pre made adventures in a fun/challenging ways for the PC's. I don't plan on running a pre made adventure everytime but would like any pointers any of you can throw my way on this subject would be HIGHLY appreciated.

 

Thanks everyone!!!! 

 

 

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Firstly read the adventure again, then re-read it, the more familiar you are with the basic story and goals the easier it should be to guide the players back to the story if they stray too far.

Secondly the information you give the players should be reactive based on their actions, certainly don't give them any stats but do keep in mind what they can see describe the basics of the scene to them and from there let them ask questions and do perception checks to get more information.

 

Thirdly yes always be ready to adapt pre-written adventures, I know I could use the entirety of the 2nd Act from Lure of the Lost for my players because knowing the objective they went completely off reservation and ran with their own fantastic idea that I had to run on the fly. this ties back into point 1 however which is know where the story is going and use it to pull them back in if needs be.

 

Good advice I can give you is to remember set back dice, it took me a few sessions to start using them properly however players will have and develop ways to remove them with talents and for situations that don;t it can really swing the difficulty of a situation 


 

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Thank you for the speedy response. 

 

for #2 there. Could you maybe give me an example of a perception check to get more information.... If a player says "I want to see what kind of armor/clothes they are wearing" I would reply with something like. " You can do that. It requires a perception check" and if it passed would I be actually giving them a number on how much defense the actually piece of armor the NPC is wearing, or just describe the clothing in a way that might represent the number that the NPC has. or maybe do both of those things to role play a little and give them the stat number?

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I never give over stat numbers, keep it narrative.

So as an example the party on on route to a location, they've cut through the back streets to avoid Imperial eyes watching them, I would then describe that a group of 6 thuggish looking men seem to be gathering at the far side of the street and looking their way hands reaching for hip holstered blaster pistols.

At this point if a keen eyed player said they wanted to see what kind of arms and armour they had I'd tell them to make a perception check.

On a pass I'd explain that they all seem to be wearing heavy clothing and light armour (let them know there is armour there but not the mechanical value), and are armed with a blaster pistol, a combat knife and two of them seem to be carrying grenades.

If they also rolled 1 advantage I'd describe the kind of grenade.

Any further advantages or Triumphs and it would likely help them in the first round of combat with spotting good positioning, a gap in some armour or maybe a barrel of something explosive nearby.

Remember these are very narrative games.

Edited by Cynthorus

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Thanks again. So the player doesn't spend their advantages and triumphs in a check like this like they do in combat?  So I, as the GM, see there is extra advantage and triumphs after the success and say something like " because you also have 1 advantage not canceled out, so you see they are holding a thermal detonator, you also have 1 triumph, and noticed a flawed design in their armor which you can exploit, you are given a Boost die on all further checks in the encounter"

 

something like that?

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Keeping things on track is one of the most challenging aspects for any GM/DM. Although I'm pretty new to this system, I've run a number of pre-made adventures in different systems through the years. I found it helpful to have a frank talk with the group at the beginning of the campaign. Usually, I'd explain that I'd chosen a pre-made module because of the demands of life on my free time, and that I'd appreciate their help in keeping things on the rails. If I had time to work up some additional challenges and encounters, then I'd let them know at the beginning of that particular session that we could go a little farther afield. They appreciated the honesty and I rarely ever had a problem.

 

 That being said, this system seems pretty easy to adjudicate on the fly. With a little practice, you could probably manage it just fine. The challenge then becomes record-keeping - tracking all of the information that you're coming up with spur-of-the-moment. You can certainly delegate this to a player to free up some of your mental bandwidth.

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If you manage to run a pre-made module and it doesn't go off the rails... please let me know.  Because in all the games, across many systems, as both player and GM I have yet to see a module go as planned.  On one hand don't worry about it and just roll with it.  That said try to keep one on the immediate situation and one eye looking further ahead.  Changes you make on the fly can give you problems down the road.

 

For example in an Iron Kingdoms game I was running I made one nation into a very racist nation where the other races only existed as slaves, which was perfectly fine until the game shifted and the natural direction for the players to go was to start doing clandestine operations against them.  Now I had 2 players who were extremely restricted in what roles they could play in a mission because I had created a world in which a trollkin couldn't just stroll down the street.  (Hopefully that makes sense)

 

As far as giving out stats that is totally up to you.  Some GMs like to keep the stats of NPCs secret, some like to give them out to let the players do some of the mental calculations.  Personally I usually I tend to keep any stats or talents secret until the players have encountered it and then I don't mind handing out specifics.  Depends a lot on your players too, if you have munchkins who you can't trust to play fair... then yes keep it to yourself.

 

Using Triumphs and Advantages should totally be on the player's shoulders.  To me that is one of the major appeals of this game system is the ability of the players to inject their own ideas into the story.  If they are struggling to come up with creative ideas to use their Triumph/Advantage then help them out initially but I would make it clear that a player's job in this system is to help tell the story (and take some of the mental load off the GM).

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Thanks again. So the player doesn't spend their advantages and triumphs in a check like this like they do in combat?  So I, as the GM, see there is extra advantage and triumphs after the success and say something like " because you also have 1 advantage not canceled out, so you see they are holding a thermal detonator, you also have 1 triumph, and noticed a flawed design in their armor which you can exploit, you are given a Boost die on all further checks in the encounter"

 

something like that?

That will come down to your players.

In structured game play its much easier for the player to suggest how they would like to use the Advantages and Triumphs, sometimes it's good as a gm to think of additional ways they can be used

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