Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do not write scripted endings

Have you ever used a scripted ending before? In case you do not know, scripted endings are endings where the ending is predetermined; all you do is guide the players to that ending. Now, I ask you, what if this happens?
DM thinks to self:" Hmm, according to this script, it should end with Averon thanking the players and giving them their reward."
Player:I kill Averon and steal his money.

If you were the DM in that scenario, wouldn't you be stuck? I know creative DMs can manage to somehow achieve the ending, but if you were to just improvise an ending, it would be much easier. Also, players can feel cheated if they spent 6 hours completing an adventure only to have an obviously-scripted ending. If I were the player, I would prefer to have an ending that is based on what I do during the adventure. Also, there are some DMs out there who do not have a sense of reality, having the town cheering for the PCs when all the PCs did was kill the person who was supposed to start the adventure in the first place. If they did that, I'll have the town get angry and kick the PCs out. Also, the town will hate the PCs and they are not welcome from that incident onwards. Oh, and since they didn't kill the monsters attacking the town, there will be several monsters hanging around in the woods/dungeon near the town. Now THAT is realistic.
I mean, think about it. If monsters were attacking your town, and the guy who asks the wandering group of adventurers for help gets killed by them, will you cheer them on?
Scripted endings also usually lead to bad script habits, such as relying on scripts or completely and utterly following the script. It will probably lead to other complications and problems, such as scripted item luck or scripted overpowered/underpowered monsters. However, I feel there's nothing wrong with establishing a ROUGH ending(by yourself and based on the party's situation), and then guiding the party to it with, say plot hooks("A nearby mage quickly runs over and revives Averon using *insert item name here*.). Obviously, the plot hooks must be reasonable and not too far-fetched, preferably having a realistic consequence/result (The newly-revived Averon says,"I was about to give you your reward but since you killed me.. I won't, *insert rude name or synonym for psychopath here*!!!)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me posting comments here and there(to be honest, I actually post on about every new article :))under the nickname "Dungeon Newbie".
PS: If you think some one is impersonating me, check under my post. I will always have some variation of "Visit my D&D blog" there.

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