Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Red Herring

You know you’ve seen it! The published module has “clues” in the public (typically known by the people sitting in the local tavern). By asking folks in the bar, you learn a random clue. Too often, they are either false or true, but always related directly to the mission the players are on. I hate that. Where are the red herrings? Where are the clues that are true, but have nothing at all to do with the mission? Are these towns and taverns so boring that there is never anything happening that doesn’t relate? Wait chaotic life - Only one mission concept at a time. Yes - Red herrings can take up valuable game time by making the PCs go off in the wrong direction. Yes, typically the GM has not fully developed that line of adventure. So there’s more GMing off the cuff. But not doing it is actually treating your players like children. Hey, if they are children, maybe they can’t juggle diverse clues and you need to make things a little more straight path. But if they aren’t ... I work really hard to make my campaign world(s) seem like living entities. Things have to be going on “in the background”. These things do not have to relate to what the players are doing, but often times, they will intersect. Deciding to not do this really seems to be a cop out. Then again, some of these published adventures I’m complaining about have dangerous creatures living 60 yards away from a town of civilians unable to fight. I probably have a lot more to complain about then not having multiple story lines.

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