NERO® West Event Formula
Plot has decided that it's important we give a little insight to our players on how our events typically run. This applies in particular to Faire Days, as our resources and time are more limited, but many of the points apply to our weekend events as well.
Usually, we start by trying to come up with a plotline that fits into one of our major story arcs. If you don't know what these are, ask around or read the boards. Odds are that anything major that's happened is part of one. An example is the pronounced fae presence in town: there was a reason they started to show up all over the place, and it was up to the PC's to find out why. Alternatively, they could simply ignore the matter, with a different set of results. We rarely set out to railroad our players, but occasionally there are certain things that MUST happen at an event. I'll get into that later. And don't forget, both action and inaction have consequences!
Next, we go through our list of pre-registered players and try to fit their personal plotlines and/or specific requests into these major plotlines. Got a long lost uncle? He might be the one to come into town with news of the Goblin army, and oh by the way, here's an artifact he stole from them. He doesn't want it anymore, but he's afraid they'll kill him if he gives it back. Help, PC, help!
Those elements in place, we plot out the mods themselves, along with a rough schedule. Sometimes the schedule is as simple as the order the mods will run in, or maybe "before lunch" and "after lunch". Why aren't we more structured? The game's about our beloved herd of cats, and PC's often like to go off on tangents. If they do, and it chews up time, our schedule is blown. So long as people are aware of that, and they have a good time, we don't really mind. We can remove modules and shelf them for a later time if time prohibits getting to them.
While we're planning mods, we try to keep in mind the people that are going to go on them. This is one of our toughest tasks, and one we often misjudge. Those of you that attended the 8/10 Faire Day (affectionately referred to as CowQuest or StuffQuest, depending on what you did) know of a failed estimation. This is an area where pre-reg REALLY HELPS, for both PCs and NPCs. If everyone pre-registered, we could all but guarantee better mods, better scaling of monsters and treasure, timing of NPC presence, everything. If we know what NPC's are coming, we can decide who's playing what role, if we can actually represent a pack of gnolls or if it's just going to be a couple of people, etc. Please, if you're an NPC, let us know you're coming.
Now that we've got the mods done, we go back to our pre-reg list to see if there's anything else that we missed that should go in for these characters. If there just isn't time, or it just doesn't fit with our event, requests may not happen.
Once that's done, if we're not exhausted, we'll look through our plot mailboxes and check for people that have at least dropped us a line to let us know they're coming, or better yet told us what specifically they'd like to see in the next event. Again, if there's time and it makes sense, we'll get some stuff in there for folks.
During the even itself, we welcome players tapping a plot member on the shoulder and making requests. Just understand that we may not have the time or NPC power to do it. Want to go track a goblin in the hills and kill it for formal components? Sure, if there's time we'll set it up for you. Got a half dozen people that want to go? It's that much more likely it will happen.
So, to summarize:
We put out the parts necessary for you guys to get things accomplished and have fun doing it. If those things aren't making it out, let us know. But remember, it's a PC's job to add to the game as well as take away; the game is, to a large degree, what you make of it for yourself and others.
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