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Running an Adventure

Why Run an Adventure?

  • Because it's fun, and you get to tell a cool story!
  • You get to put something back into the system.
  • Glorious double XP! You will get two skill picks as a result of GMing, rather than the usual one.
  • Contribute the overall story of the world.

What Makes up an Adventure?

  • An overall plot
    • What is happening (and why)?
    • How can the players affect it?
  • A brief. How do the players get involved?
  • 12-16 encounters of challenges for the players
  • A reward! This could be a monetary reward by their employer, items of interest discovered during the adventure, political favour, etc.


  • In general, 12-16 encounters will provide a LARP of about the right length.
  • 5-8 (on average) encounters where the flux comes into play. Any less or any more should probably be hinted at in the briefing.
  • At least some should include a heavy roleplaying element rather than being a straight fight (though the best adventures incorporate roleplaying into most, if not all, encounters).
  • Try to have some encounters where every class can shine. Innovative challenges and unusual situations can help ensure everyone gets a chance to do something cool.
  • Monster stats should be designed to push characters, but shouldn't be designed to kill them unless they do something foolish.
  • Most monsters should be simply statted and have a vastly less wide range of capabilities compared to a player character. A few powerful NPCs could be statted like characters, but these should be the exception rather than the rule.
  • For more information on statting see Monsters.


  • The players need a motivation to go on a LARP. Often this will be some sort of monetary or material reward.

How to Write the Flux

What the Flux Does Do

  • At baseline the flux behaves roughly approproately for region you are in.
  • However, the Flux can and will have been influenced by commonly known rumours, stories or beliefs about an area, and what's in it. For example, if people never went to the House on the Hill because there was a blood sucking ghost in there, you may find a house, on the hill, containing a Nightmare resembling a blood-sucking ghost.
  • Things that appear in the flux in a place where it makes good, logical sense for them to be (i.e. fruit on a bush, a sword in a forge) are likely to persist if taken out of the flux, as long as not too much is taken (otherwise reality tends to correct itself).
  • In the wake of travellers, the flux tends to destabilise back into a state of pure potential in anything from half an hour to most of a day, generally determined by the size of the party that was there.

Note: Remember when describing monsters to only tell characters with Know the Flux's Touch (or some kind of special ability with a similar effect) whether a monster is flux. People without the skill cannot tell whether monsters are “Fluxy” and while many flux creatures are based on local legends, it is equally possible that the legends are based on true creatures, thus it is feasible that the bizzare monsters the party face are real. Immediately knowing whether monsters are flux or not is information only wayfinders have, and they can use it as they see fit.

What the Flux Doesn't Do

  • The closest approximation of how the flux appears to behave is as a snapshot of what was believed at the time of the Upheaval. Sweeping changes of peoples beliefs now have not been observed to change what is in the flux. You can not achieve changes to the flux by causing massive shifts in current belief.
  • The Upheaval mostly didn't affect conscious people directly. There is a little more flexibility here - a rare few people have had their capabilities modified slightly. The most obvious example of this is that in general, mages will be able to generate protomana for the magical rite for which they were best known before the Upheaval, rather than the one they were necessarily best at. Subtle things like this are fine, but it won't have mutated people into fifty-foot tall guys with lasers.
  • Weird stuff that doesn't belong, whether created by wayfidners or some specific sinister local effect will tend to dissipate once unobserved outside the flux.

How do you Meaningfully Interact with the Flux?

Travelling PCs cause stabilisation of the flux, but this tends to fade in their wake, leaving the potential for what they overcame in passing through to appear again. It's important for PCs to feel like they are achieving something, however, so here are some ideas for how you can ensure that the Flux plays a meaningful part in your adventure.

  • Low level:
    • At low level, the flux is more of an obstacle than a thing to be permanently affected.
    • You can at low level bring things out of the flux if their originating in the location you're at makes sense. If you go to the known haunt of a Tyrant Lizard, slay one, and bring back its skull, the skull probably won't dissipate - there might still be a Tyrant Lizard there next time someone is there.
    • This also makes the flux a potent resource in many ways - travelling into the flux, finding a farm and harvesting some of the crops is an important agricultural practice around most major settlements.
    • Stabilised patches of the Flux make good hiding places for nefarious individuals and creatures, so heading into the flux to deal with such things helps to get it involved.
    • Low level Wayfinders can use flux routes to significantly speed up travel relative to taking passage through the consensus.
  • Mid level:
    • At mid level, Wayfinders can use the flux to achieve things that would not be possible otherwise, whether outfitting an army or building a fortress from nowhere.
    • Wayfinders can also, at this level, make lasting (though still not permanent changes) to the flux.
    • Younger Anomalies make excellent villains/antagonists for mid level parties, and defeating these is a meaningful task, as once an individual one is gone it will not simply reform.
    • The Flux can throw up oddities and events ideal for the creation of Artifacts.
    • Delving into the nature of the flux and why it behaves how it does is likely to begin being both of interest and within the capabilities of characters of this level.
  • High Level
    • At this level, Wayfinders can cause permanent changes to the Flux, and a limited number of other abilities allow permanent changes to be made to it.
    • High level characters may possess [gm:Artifacts]] allowing other routes of interaction, or wish to ensure especially esoteric circumstances within the flux to help create them.
    • High level characters are likely to have the wealth and resources such that organising the long-term stabilisation of a patch of flux simply through constant occupation is a plausible option.
    • The most powerful Anomalies make excellent long term villains for powerful characters.

Note: Remember when describing monsters to only tell characters with Know the Flux's Touch (or some kind of special ability with a similar effect) whether a monster is flux. People without the skill cannot tell whether monsters are “Fluxy” and while many flux creatures are based on local legends, it is equally possible that the legends are based on true creatures, thus it is feasible that the bizzare monsters the party face are real. Telling the party whether monsters are flux or not at the start of the encounter makes the skill useless and removes interesting role playing opportunities based around not knowing whether the creatures are real and acting accordingly.

Help, I Killed the Player Party!

Challenging the characters is a good thing, and occasional character deaths in tough encounters are inevitable. Sometimes, however, you'll get the stats a bit wrong, and what was supposed to be a simple encounter has most of the party down and bleeding. At this point, unless there's a very good reason not to, steps should probably be taken to ensure that not everyone dies horribly. A variety of options are available, some examples of which are:

  • Make it look like part of the plot:fantasy media and video games are full of examples of fights the protagonists were supposed to lose. While this should generally be avoided in a larp setting unless carefully handled, having all of the PCs wake up in a pile somewhere mysterious a few hours later with their wounds strangely healed can work well if the encounter that killed them was more metaphysical in nature.
  • Mighty heroes make valuable captives: Or ritual fuel or sacrifices to bloodthirsty local deities etc. If the intelligent antagonists start looking like they're going to win, wave a dead monster in as someone with the Staunch Wounds skill to start stabilising PCs while his mate ties them up. That the monsters will probably later be slain as the PCs stage a daring break from the cells they're thrown into is their problem for being antagonists.
  • Last Minute Rescue: If the players have been travelling with NPCs, maybe they can stage a rescue, or at least burst in to heal up a few bleeding PCs.
  • Divine Intervention: The setting has divine forces which can intervene through their priests. This should really only occur in the direst circumstances, but it is there as an option. Other powerful beings may have similar capabilities.

Any “get out of jail free” the PCs receive should not be without consequences, which can range from loss of items to full blow metaphysical deformity depending on severity and the situation. Sometimes a given mechanism won't quite save everyone, and this is part and parcel of taking a character out on a linear.

running_an_adventure.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/14 21:08 (external edit)