Firstly, I’m going to navel-gaze for a bit:
Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine started life as an experiment in formatting my own prep notes (impression of the general area -> sensory/atmospheric information in BIG OBVIOUS TYPE -> everything else), which worked out great in my own game so I published it pretty much as-is, and the vast majority of feedback I’ve gotten is that it works great. For the most part you can just pick it up and go.
But something it DIDN’T do was use a lot of moving parts, or take into account where you came from; the descriptions all assume you’re following the most obvious route.
So moving on to new things, I could do what normally happens and make things more generic, get rid of the sensory build-up, so that you need to stop and reference the map to think about what order players see things/where they lie in front of them, OR I could do what I’ve done which is to write multiple entry descriptions for each area to cover every way you could get there including falling from the goddamn sky.
The experiment behind STEAL THE EYES OF YASHOGGHUH is seeing if I can make an adventure that’s just as easy to pick up and play as Feathered Swine, with the same atmosphere that builds when you can just keep going area to area, but with lots more moving parts that affect other areas of the map, tracked events, triggers, missing keys, possible NPC factions, all without being a nightmare to track. I want you to be able to flip to a page and just GO, I want all of the information you need to be there without having to stop and think.
Ultimately, the experiment behind it is to make a fairly complex and organic adventure that can not only be run easily by a brand new DM, without prep and possibly without even reading all of it beforehand, but be played by brand new players.
I want them to know that things are happening around them and that there may be unforseen consequences without it being overwhelming or frustratingly confusing, I want them to be able to solve problems without having to pixel-bitch across the whole map pulling levers and finding keys that give no indication that they’ve done the right thing, and shit, I want them to have a lot of fun.
WITH THAT SAID
FM Geist ran STEAL THE EYES OF YASHOGGHUH for her birthday and fuck me, the play report just makes me so happy, as does the feedback that keeps coming in from her players.
It also makes me exceedingly happy that she ran this while high from a PHONE, so I feel like I’ve done fairly well with those design goals.
ALSO she used my (new) magic rules, equipment packs, and NPCs, and the incident beginning with the removal of the golden spikes is the perfect culmination of everything I try to do with what I write.
Please, give it a read (then read it again, and again):