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Customize Me!

Tripp Robbins

One of the things I'm looking forward to in NWN is the ability to create adventures for my friends. Off-the-shelf adventures can be fun, but it's so much more fun to tailor a game to the things you and your friends enjoy most. I want a game where the tools are provided and I can use my own creativity, my knowledge of my friends' interests and even inside jokes to make an awesome adventure.

One area of customization is the style of adventure. Do your friends want to steal a priceless artifact from its sacred resting place? Do they want to assault the stronghold of an oppressive tyrant? Would they rather seek the mystical knowledge held only by secret monk? Or do they just like to tear into a dungeon full of baddies and hack, slash and cast themselves silly? Having those options, that range of possibilities will allow you to give your players what they like most.

The level of the characters is another point where people differ. Sometimes players like to start from ground zero and go through the challenges of making something from (nearly) nothing. Other times it's fun to be Lord Bashalot, the zillionth level Champion of All and take on the biggest and baddest of the creatures/deities there are. And still other times it's fun to be somewhere in the middle, not a punk but still someone you can relate to.

What other things suit your gang's taste? Do your friends like quests? Do they like puzzles and riddles? Do they want to play thieves who never harm a soul or plate-clad tanks who swing first and ask questions later? Or do they want to exert control over others through their arcane abilities? Some like to be good guys and help the weak; some like to stomp on anything they can. Maybe they prefer serious, semi-historical adventures; maybe they like silly scenarios where the best things are those that make everyone laugh a lot. The possibilities are endless when you have the tools to run the kind of game you and your players like most.

One mistake novice Dungeon Masters make is to create an adventure WITHOUT considering their players' interests. I once played a game with a first-time DM who didn't pay attention as we, the players, talked excitedly about having animals (from war dogs to trained hawks) to take with us questing. After we spent hours figuring out what we could start with, how the rules for animals worked, etc., we finally started the adventure. After less than ten minutes of walking down the proverbial path, "giant eagles" swooped down on the party, picked us all up, flew us hours away and dropped us into the start of a dungeon - leaving all our animals behind. Obviously we were all pissed off; it just got the whole campaign off on a horrible foot. The problem was that the DM knew that he had created a dungeon where animals would be a problem, and he'd created it without getting any input from us. I learned a good lesson from that.

So, my advice is to not only think of the kind of adventure YOU want to create, but also consider the kind of things your players will enjoy. And if you're not sure, just ask! They'll appreciate it and you'll all have more fun.

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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