Help Making Plots into Sequels

edited June 2012 in Story Games
A recent comment (that I unfortunately cannot relocate for proper credit) said something like:

"As a change from designing a big campaign-spanning plot in advance and then looking inward for each component adventure, try building outward from the adventures. After each session ask, 'How could this have been part of something more complicated?'"

I realize I am terrible at this. Please help me brainstorm what types of questions I might ask to become better.

For example, I can think of...

1. Who else benefited from the main bad guy's plans? How did they benefit? How has this adventure been a part of their recent or future activities or plans?

What are other lines of thought to pursue? Thanks!

Comments

  • Depends really. Just how tightly do you want the plot of the sequal to tie to the original?

    ie. Ask: Do I want the sequal to be a direct follow up to the events of the main game? Can I sneak in characters and loose ends from the first run quietly and suprise the players?
  • What machinery (physical or metaphorical) was left abandoned and could it's abandonment have unintended consequence?
  • What seemingly unconnected events/people/objects/whatever were actually connected after all?

    This works best if you try forcing it a bit, so that you make connections that were unexpected to you (otherwise you would have probably already made the connection and you wouldn't be complaining that you're bad at this).

    So try making a list or deck of "stuff". Then try random combinations (draw 2-3 items randomly from the deck, randomize off the list, etc). Only give up if you really really really can't make a connection.

    Yes it's a lot of work to list all the "stuff" in the campaign. But think of it as a workshopping technique toward getting better at making the connections with less work in the future.

    And you may find that the act of documenting your campaign is really the biggest and most important step anyway. Just having a record of what all the stuff is that you can refer to may be the most important part of connecting things.
  • Good tips. Thanks!

    While on a walk yesterday my wife helped me come up with two more ideas...

    (a) Include in each adventure an item or bit of information that is purposefully a loose end, even if you have no idea yet how it might fit with anything else.

    (b) Ponder where unusual equipment came from. (Example: The villain had a chair with straps that turned corpses into zombies. Dead-end ideas were that he made it himself or it was a gift from his evil patron deity. Loose-end ideas are that he brought it to his lair from the creepy ruins of a castle a few days away, or lots of local villains have been scrounging stuff from the trophy room of a powerful team of heroes who were finally killed.)
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