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Posted by : Frank Lee September 9, 2013

The Play's the Thing is an adventure written for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I'm creating it using the Adventure Creator as an example of how you can create full size adventure supplements for your favorite RPGs to play with your group or share with others.

In the case of The Play's the Thing it is being used to replace the Something's Rotten in Kislev adventure in The Enemy Within Campaign. Using the Adventure Creator I'm confident I can create a far better fitting tale for the storyline of the campaign, and also set an adventure in the independent city of Marienburg, which is the subject of Anthony Ragan's delightful Marienburg: Sold Down the River sourcebook.

The adventure writing has already begun and let's check out the first step!

So if you're a fan of WFRP 1st edition, you probably know about The Enemy Within Campaign, and if you know about The Enemy Within Campaign then you probably know its reputation as three incredible starting adventures, followed by a fourth total-WTF-off-the-rails adventure, and then a not-that-great epic finale that totally rewrites the setting of The Empire and was completely ignored. And if you didn't know about those things, now you sort of do.

Alright, so we know what we want to write a spiffy new adventure with the help of the Adventure Creator and we know what we want the adventure to be about. Let's do it!

* * *

Step One: The Adventure Creator Plot Sheet

Whenever we want to create a new adventure we start by coming up with an overall plot outline. And the Adventure Creator helps us do that with the Plot Sheet, which is just a premade series of idea prompts that you'll fill in with the Story Charts. Here's an example of what I mean:

Plot Device: New Leadership - Villains plan to replace the current hierarchy of power.
Plot Device: Death Cult - An evil group gets innocents involved under false pretenses.

What we've got above here are two "Plot Device" prompts, and I've rolled twice on the Plot Device Charts (one of the many charts that make up the Story Charts and provide you with ideas) to get the results. So the first roll on a d1000 was a 349, which is "New Leadership." And the second one is 770, which is "Death Cult." I just copy down the result, along with the short blurb describing the result so I'll remember what it means.

The Plot Sheet just provides me with a premade sheet that has a variety of different prompts for me to fill in with the Story Charts. All those random ideas will then help me add onto the ideas I already have.

* * *

I already know I want this adventure to take place in Marienburg. Also I got some inspiration from that old adventure Something's Rotten in Kislev, and thought I should make another title based on Hamlet. Since I like theatre I went with The Play's the Thing, and decided to include the theatre scene in Marienburg as an important element in the story. Also I'd like to have a famous young actress be one of the important NPCs, and since I think this story should be about important people and events, the backdrop to everything will be high society functions and dealings with very important city figures.

Now let's roll up some results on that Plot Sheet, and I'll give you a little warning here, I decided to add on even more prompts than you'll find on the basic Plot Sheet just to experiment and give myself lots of ideas. And it's important to remember, you're encouraged to adjust and add-on to everything you find in The Adventure Creator and Solo Gm Guidebook. But let's see some of the results I got...

Scheme/Plot Maker
Genre: Evil Group
Opposition: A Close Friend
Motivation: Further Goals
Plot Device: You Didn't See Anything - A power group wants people to keep quiet.
Action + Thing: Judge Mystery

Story Background

Plot Device: New Leadership - Villains plan to replace the current hierarchy of power.
Plot Device: Death Cult - An evil group gets innocents involved under false pretenses.

Action + Thing: Represent Show Trial
Action + Thing: Increase Corpses
Thing: Pirates
Thing: Patriarch
Location: Dining Room
Location: Secret Room
Location: Infirmary/Hospice

Additional Story Background!


Plot Device: Thing of Beauty - A very beautiful NPC is at the center of events.
Plot Device: He's Not Seeing Anyone - An important/necessary NPC refuses to see the PCs.

Action + Thing: Manipulate Noble Title
Action + Thing: Setup Workers
Thing: Mask
Thing: Saint/Legendary Religious Figure
Location: City Gates
Location: Terrible Place
Location: Mill


Once you've got your results your imagination should start filling with ideas. I like to just brainstorm for a few minutes, look things over, let ideas jump up, then fall away, let new ideas jump up, and so on. My first idea is rarely my best idea, so giving myself at least a few minutes to consider the possibilities helps.








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