This is the culmination of the entire adventure, that huge battle you’ve been planning for weeks, that confrontation with the villain who has his thumb on the trigger of the thermonuclear warhead button, the last chance for the PCs to set things right.
Everything else in your adventure should lead the PCs to this moment. You want your middle to build to a fever pitch, so that your players are ready and eager to get to this moment. You know you’ve done your job correctly if, at this point, your players want to defeat the bad guy as much (or even more) than their characters do. They need to care about the outcome of this final showdown. Do everything you can to set the mood for the moment. Props, candles, music can all work to bring your players even deeper into the game, to help them feel like they’re actually there, actually immersed in the action, not just narrating it.
The outcome of this encounter needs to be in doubt. Players should feel like they have a real chance of failing and that that failure would have dire consequences for the game world. Likewise, if they succeed, they should also make an impact on the game world. Let their actions make a difference, let the PCs make history. If everything resets at the end of the adventure, players will have a feeling of “Why bother? Nothing we do makes any difference anyway.” But if you allow your players to be co-creators of the game world, they will become much more engaged and will eagerly await further adventures in your world.
This is an excerpt from The Adventure Creation Handbook, due to be released at the end of February 2011.
Articles Zemanta thinks may be related
- Why Not Just Give It To Them? (gnomestew.com)
- Personal Encounter Design Workshop from Critical Hits ” RPG (critical-hits.com)
- Why Create Custom Adventures? (rpggm.com)
- Writing the Adventure: Begin at the Beginning (rpggm.com)
- Before You Write: What Do Your Players and PCs Want? (rpggm.com)
- Before You Write an Adventure: Finding Inspiration – the Mind Map (rpggm.com)