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Village of Gillkas Draft

posted Jun 12, 2017, 5:42 PM by Shane Harsch
In the ramp up to Origins, Brendan LaSalle
just handed me the first complete draft for our next Narosia adventure "Village of Gillkas" and it is awesome.

I came up with this adventure based around a single, iconic, action scene, something I've always wanted to run as a GM. Let's call this the Final Act. Then, in true Narosia fashion, I started deconstructing it in the context of the setting's history—why this, how that, if so then what, etc.—which led me to the Penultimate Act of the story.

I've run that act (condensed) over the past few convention cycles ("The Haunted Hills") and it was great fun. But I still needed to set it up. So I deconstructed it more.

The result is a location-based adventure with sandbox elements over which I laid a fairly linear sequence of events building towards the original Final Act.

I then playtested that with my home group using our new NOVA6 rules. This fleshed out the details even more, brought new insights, and finally framed the whole thing out.

However, now I needed to write it. Given my schedule I knew this was not going to happen so I reached out to my friend and veteran author Brendan to make it happen. We collaborated on the outline, making sure the event sequencing and all of the finer details made sense. We condensed it, tweaked it, and walked through it, workshopping player disruption and circumvention. Finally, Brendan felt he was ready (he wasn't) to tackle the writing.

It takes a lot of guts to take someone else's idea and put it to paper. Brendan and I have spent hours talking about Narosia, this adventure, and adventure content in general that I knew he understood my intent but without a Vulcan Mind-Meld it can never be 100%. Important details are still missed, things glossed over, map elements overlooked.

Brendan handed me a 47K manuscript that aside from niggling details that are important for getting the Narosia setting just right, the adventure is 100% on the money. The feel is write, the pacing, and the key elements are all there. But on top of that, Brendan is fully there too. The things that make his adventures stand out, that drew me to his writing and style in the first place, are absolutely present as well. While my focus was on the core elements that drove the plot, he was able to breath life everywhere in between which only makes that plot that much stronger and more real.

I'm truly sorry for my home playtesting group. I doubt they would want to play through again, and yet the adventure would be so much more than what I ran on my own.

I'm running Acts I-III this year at Origins, Grand Con, and U-Con, so if you've played "Village of Gillkas" before I assure you that you have not played these parts.

The adventure will be available for NOVA6 and DCC and, with enough funding, HERO System as well—as a thank you to all of our original Narosia supporters. As a commitment to our supporters, fans, and believers, we want to be production-ready before make any other plans.

I'd say 47K words is a great start, and art by Rik DesChain as well.