I’m an organised person. Lists, processes and routines are my friends! However, when I design an adventure I’m a bit all over the place.
I like to work from a template (as for me constraints in design and having a framework are good things). Adventures are pretty much the only thing I design directly in Pages. Because adventure design can be format intensive I like to see what the pages look like as the adventure shapes up. I love iA Writer, but it is not somewhere I would write an adventure. (I’m writing this post in it, though).
In the early design phase I don’t start at the beginning of the adventure and work my way through it. Rather. I bounce around and write whatever occurs to me at the time. I let inspiration run its course.
If I have a problem location, background element or whatever I leave it and work around it. I’m a firm believer in the power of the subconscious. When I finish my daily design my brain is still chugging away at the problem. Often the answer to the problem will pop into my head at an opportune moment and then I work on the problem section.
For much of the design process, word count is a handy metric. If I start the day at 1,000 words and finish at 2,000 words it’s pretty obvious what I have achieved. I like that. I’ve picked 1,000 words a day as a doable goal. It’s a nice round number. If I was doing nothing else I could do far more, but the horrors of the day-to-day of Raging Swan Press do somewhat intrude on my design time.
Yesterday, then, I’ve been writing a bit of what I fancy. This comprised the following:
- The names of all the encounter areas in the dungeon.
- The details and descriptions of many of the features (such as pillars, tapestries and so on) of those areas.
- The vampire spawn stat block.
- The details of many of the dungeon’s generic features.
- Most of location #1 (and begun to ponder the trap therein).
The above comprised 1,241 words.
Today, I plan to:
- Continue work on the dungeon’s features.
- Start to design the NPC bio for the dungeon’s main villain.
- Design some NPC bios for the various vampire spawn. Most groups probably won’t stop to chat, but some might and as a moral dilemma is at this dungeon’s heart it makes sense to “humanise” the vampire spawn as much as possible.
But who knows what I’ll end up writing!