Introduction: Of Blood and Water is a five-act RPG adventure written for the Dragon Age tabletop RPG system. It was created as a semester-long project for the RPG Writing Workshop course at Carnegie Mellon University. This involved creating character descriptions, step-outlines, and five acts that each include a dramatic scene written in script format.
Time: 15 weeks | Role: Producer/ Writer | Team Size: 5
Design Goal: The goal of this project was to create an RPG adventure suitable for a three person party to play over the course of several weeks.
- Raymon’s character sheet.
- Act 1’s step outline, prose, and dramatic scene.
Download: The story bible is available here.
As part of our Game Design course taught by Jesse Schell at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center we were required to create a tabletop RPG. The following is an adaptation of the document detailed Gladiator Rumble, the game I submitted for this assignment.
A brief description of the process you used to create your adventure. Include any brainstorming notes, etc.
I begun the process of creating my adventure with a theme/fantasy. I had a number of ideas including:
- A sports adventure theme
- A wild west themed game
- A game with vampires
I settled on doing something set in the time period of the Roman Civilization. In particular I loved the setting of the movie Gladiator so my intention was to recreate a similar storytelling experience.
Next I searched for an interest curve that roughly mapped onto what I wanted to create.
Next, based on the five point on the interest curve I imagined the main scenes of the story with a brief description of what I wanted to achieve in that scene, and the main story beats.
- Capture – I wanted the player to be captured.
- Training Ground – A scene in the gladiator house of them learning skills and familiarizing themselves with their new world
- Gladiator Battle 1 – First gladiator battle, high intensity
- Villanus Mansion – A more social situation, with a puzzle
- Gladiator Battle 2 – Last gladiator fight, high intensity, kill the boss to win one’s freedom, or kill each other.
I was inspired by the game Shadow of Rome, and wanted to find a system that support combat and social situations. I could have used the roleplaying 101, but I instead chose to use a system from a tabletop RPG game I had played before called Vampire The Masquerade (VTM). More specifically I used Vampire: Dark Ages (medieval setting) for their armour, and weapons.
To flesh out my world of I needed to perform significant research, namely:
- Be aware of the different types of gladiators to give my players and generated enemies some grounding in the world
- I also wanted to include animals at one points so I found applicable stats.
- Made a list of important characters and some of their traits to help me roleplay them.
- Each scene needed a map so I drew one, including details about who was in each scene.
- Refamiliarize myself with VTM’s leveling scheme, social and combat systems.
- Found example stats to base my NPC’s on.
There were also a number of things I did not do:
- Also thought of adding in some currency and letting players by equipment but thought this might add too much added complexity.
- Thought of adding special sections such as chariot racing but left it out due to the added complexity.
All of this I compiled into a long supporting document I used whilst DM’ing that I will include in the following section.
Continue reading Gladiator Rumble – Story Citadel