Sunday, June 20, 2010

Levitz Paradigm, Three Act structure, and the RPG Scenario

I'm going to try and use the Levitz Paradigm, as well as, proper three act structures with my Saturday night game. It's more official structure than I've ever put around my games. Sure, I've scripted them before, but not like this. I've done crazy level of scripting and character development. I've run games that were mini-scenarios where I had a specific agenda for each episode. However, this feels like a new level.

Have any GM friends had any luck with either of these? It's hard to imagine that I've run successful games (and highly successfull convention games) not utilizing these tools. I know Lowell has his 3 Things layout and that Steve uses a variant. What about the rest of you?

I'm hoping it will make it easier to rope in the players who want action to come to them, instead of creating it themselves. By easier, I mean force my hand to actively include them.

I have created an Excel file that outlines the paradigm. I like the idea of having an electronic file for this that I can reflect back on during the writing process, instead of a hand-scrawling it out on a peice of note paper.

My episode notes are done in Microsoft Word. I have them broken down by Act, then scenes (usually just two major scenes per Act - should I breaking that structure in the future?). I bullet point everything here. The last page of each episode's notes includes a list of NPC names, quick function why they are there ("contact for job"), locations, and as the current game is sci-fi, list of ship names and type of ship fir that episode.


Jim McClain said...

Not only did I run a three-act structure, but I used a teaser before the credits of my Star Trek game. The only drawback, though, is that when the players do something unexpected, you have to be prepared to draw your act to a close in a different place than you intended. That's usually not that big a problem. It helped me to make it feel like it was an episode of Star Trek.

Charlie said...

Jim's Star Trek game was amazing. I loved how the teaser set us up for what would be happening in the episode (or was a giant red herring if the players went off on completely different tangents). Being one of the players that occasionally sprung things on him, I'd say Jim did a pretty good job.