TorgHacker wrote:Any good examples of published adventures like this? I'm not being facetious. Having a non-linear adventure that is actually published publicly that's intended for a large audience is...not straightforward. (ha!)
Additionally, sandbox games I don't think are in Torg's wheelhouse. I'd be glad to be proved wrong and love to see someone try to do one well, but I think its like fitting a square peg into a round hole.
Some shadowrun adventures come to mind. Scenes are brought upon by investigation or specific events.
Of course, you do have a specific beginning and an ending. That's the point of a published adventure. (Bottled Demon comes to mind Dark Angel too; Eyewitness is another fun one I never got a chance to run)
All of that with a caveat : investigative adventures are better suited to non-linear flows. Action-themed can have a more closed structure, if the events that are proposed make sense.
That is one of my major issues with games built upon a war theme. It cannot be that open as fighting a war is usually organized by someone else than the heroes.
Well written open adventures are rare and few are successful. It is a complicated subject. It requires a theme that fits and a writer that has a weird mindframe : the writer has to propose key events and then ways for those to happen whenever that is. Some missed events can have consequences, or missed opportunities (reinforcements, supplies, allies, information, etc). Events can also change over time, depending when the characters get to that part. Shadowrun was mostly successful in that regard.
D&D has mostly closed adventures, dungeons are closed areas with a logical flow to their exploration. IMO, all in all uninsteresting, but easier to write
. The introductory set for DD5 has a wierd dungeon you could explore in reverse due an exit route that could be found by the players, mine did and thus explored the dungeon from the end to the start, that was fun
So, adventures CAN be written to be non linear, while still having a structure, that has been done before. It is complicated, but possible. It requires just another mindset and leaving the D&D usual flow that we are all used to.
For example : a dungeon can be set as a map, but can also be proposed as a series of encounters. The dragonlance Classics 15th anniversary in the Saga rulesystem tried it. I don't know if it worked well, never had a chance to run it. But basically, a dungeon became a series of encounters, which could be run in any order. In TORG gamespeak, a series of scenes for an act. I quite liked the idea when I browsed the book, but real life is a bitch…
My current lack of inspiration is the reason I haven't tried to write something along those lines. I am still quite sure that non-linear action-adventures CAN be written, I just don't have any ideas right now
TorgHacker wrote:But additionally, I need to point out that you can either have a non-linear adventure, or you experience all the content, but you really don't get to have both. Almost certainly that's the case for published adventures...home brew adventures are (well, they should at least) tailored for a single group, so it's much easier to have an idea of what the group will do. That way an adventure can appear to be non-linear when it really wasn't.
Unless all you're asking for is to be able to go through A-B-D-C-E rather than A-B-C-D-E...but I'm not sure I'd call that a non-linear adventure.
The point is to be able to complete the adventure going ABCDE, ABE, ADCE etc. That's the idea behind a non-linear adventure. Of course, A and E are mandatory, otherwise it's a series of random encounters. If A is the start and E the end, of course.
Missed content can have consequences, as missed opportunities are missed. (DOH
TorgHacker wrote:5 cosm books
5 single-cosm super adventures
1 cosm-hopping super adventure
7 single act adventure compilations
most of the Core Earth cosm book
That's pretty incredible for a company whose name isn't Wizards of the Coast or Paizo, and it's as much as Wizards has published for D&D in 4 years.
Again, I'm certainly not saying your feelings and opinions are wrong. You like what you like. I'm just saying there's a reality (sorry) that drives many of the decisions.
It is incredible, and Kickstarter is mostly why it can happen. You are doing it right, so most is written before the projects actually start, which is a godsend. So, yes, I am saying that it could be done better and more to my tastes of adventures but what you are doing is absolutely great and don't stop !
I love what you are doing, and even if some of it won't be used cause it does not fit my tastes, I'll still buy it and read it.