Have I mentioned the Rumors of War Relaunch Project FUNDED?
See for yourself!

The new comic has started!

If you say the subject line of this post out loud, it might come out sounding like “herp derp. Derp derp. Derp.” But it means something specific in this case.

As you may already be aware, I’m developing a system for introducing Rumors and Subplots into the game as though they were characters. A game master will be able to develop a rumor with rules similar to those used for character creation.

So here’s the problem I ran into while developing the Rumor system.

How do rumors and subplots lead to character development?

It seems simple enough, Rumors and Subplots lead to adventure. Right? Except where is the adventure? How do you integrate something as structured as a typical adventure into something developed randomly like a Rumor?

This was a problem I had already solved. I just needed to realize it.

Over the last week, I read articles over on the Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity related to the “Schrodinger’s Gun” GM method. I was trying to figure out how to make an adventure out of the Rumor system. There are some goods ideas here.

Wombat mentions the “five by five” method of adventure development, which I’ve mentioned here and used myself — and which I had all but given up on because I couldn’t engage my players with the adventures, even by converting them into encounters on a one-for-one basis. But. BUT. But.

That was before I developed the Rumor system.

Rumors are great — the system is easy to use and engaging. Objectives and Relationships are fantastic for inspiring an adventure. But they lack structure. Furthermore, they lack depth. Five-by-five adventures lack engagement.

Where Rumors are spontaneous, Adventures are structured. And the answer is to use one to lead to the other. Using Rumors, you don’t have to introduce the PCs to each other or form a party — adventuring parties will form organically around choices the group makes together. Shared resources help this along.

And once you have a Rumor for the PCs to follow, you drop a 5×5 encounter into the mix. Rumors provide motive and Adventures provide opportunity. This is for the GM, the equivalent of having your cake and eating it.

I don’t know that I’ve ever revealed the Adventure format I was using, but it’s a strictly nonlinear mash-up of thematically related combat and social encounters.

It’s been long enough since I ran the first few adventures in Praise of Stone, so I might just share those adventures here for reference. I’ll need to experiment some more with the format — certainly in using Rumors to lead into Adventures — but with Rumors serving as bait and Adventures providing the hooks…

…This metaphor was going somewhere but I got lost.