Monday, May 10, 2010

One Shot Adventure Creation: The Climax...

Good Morning, All:

This article continues the One Shot Adventure Creation Series. Like others in the series, we will be discussing one of the core scenes from the basic One Shot adventure outline I originally proposed at the beginning of this series. In this article, we will be looking at the Climax, the final major scene of the One Shot adventure.

The Climax scene is the final showdown, the last big fight with the Big Bad Evil Guy and his minions. This scene is most often a big fight, but under the right circumstances, it could combine combat with a social or mental challenge as well. More than any other scene in the adventure, this is the scene where everyone should have a chance to shine. It is suggested that this scene contain a good number of minions, as well as one or two challenging leader types. Having too few opponents could end in a quick resolution through ganging up on the enemy. The extra numbers allow warriors the chance to engage in martial combat, while rogues can use their extensive skills and sneak attack abilities. Priests and mages should have plenty of targets for their offensive spells, and reason to be happy for their defensive preparations. The site for the climax should also include at least two different terrain features, to provide for some interesting situations that make such scenes memorable. While you don't want to overdo yourself, you also want to make this scene feel more important and more exciting than the others in the adventure.

While the effort you've put in to designing your One Shot adventure in the previous scenes helps to create a well-rounded and challenging game experience, if the climactic scene of the adventure is lackluster, the sense of fulfillment from completing the adventure is reduced. Creating a memorable game requires distinctive and exciting moments to help lock the adventure into the memory of your players. While near devastating combats, leaving half the party at only a handful of hitpoints or even unconscious before the final villain dies can get the adrenaline pumping, you are essentially putting your trust in the vagaries of the dice. Don't depend on the dice for the success of your climactic scene. Instead, create distinctive environments and interesting characters that stand out. A kobold dressed in over-sized purple robes may not work for you, but it adds one more detail that may stand out in the players' memories of the game later on. Running up the stairs towards a dark granite altar is fairly mundane, but racing across one of three rope bridges to get to the crystal platform both sounds cooler and offers more distinctive flavor to your final climactic scene.

When planning on time constraints for the Climax scenes, picture this one taking at least an hour, if not an hour and a half. If you are running your One Shot adventure within the time constraints of a standard three and a half to four hour time slot at a convention, you will want to make sure that you are entering this scene no later than two hours, forty-five minutes into the game's scheduled time slot.

So, dear readers, what are the most memorable Climax scenes of any One Shot adventure you've participated in? What made it memorable for you? What could have been done better, if anything? Your experiences could help out other readers, so please feel free to share.

With Regards,

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