Burning Con Scenario Prep

I know you’re all at home busily prepping your Burning Con scenario, so I put together a list of best practices and advice. I hope you find it useful.

Here’s list of basic things you need:

  • An idea of the scenario or situation.
  • Characters. GMs for all games should provide characters*
  • Provide all game materials. Be sure you have the right amount of dice, cards and anything else you’ll need.
  • At least one twist—something new that changes the starting dynamic—but not more than three. Frex: You find a magic sword and must decide who gets it…and then you have to find your way out of the dungeon.
  • Notes, sketches and rough stat blocks for your villains, opposition and monsters
  • Attitude: Be bold, be confident. Players are sitting at your table because they’re interested in your vision. Impress them.

You need a strong idea for a scenario to keep everyone on track during play. Provide characters so you can get right to playing. A scenario that only answers one question can be boring. Be ready to throw in a new element that ratchets up the tension even further (but is, of course, still tied to the characters Beliefs/Goals/purpose etc). Lastly, your scenario will run more smoothly if you have a rough list of obstacles, stat blocks, problems and potential opposition. It won’t all come into play, but it’s useful to have.

What not to do:

  • Don’t sit back and expect the players to do all the work. As the scenario runner, it’s your role to mix up the action and provide unexpected turns.
  • Don’t overprepare. Don’t plan such a detailed scenario that you’ll never hope to finish it in one sitting
  • DO NOT setting dump. If I catch anyone saying more than one minute of world or setting info, I’ll be very angry.
  • DO NOT explain the rules. Demonstrate the rules in small chunks as the game progresses.

Running RPG scenarios is easy. I’m excited because we have so many great players and scenarios. See you all next Friday for the party!

Any questions? Email me at burningwheel@burningwheel.com


*Except for In a Wicked Age. Don’t get your mocassins in a knot.

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