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Jeff's Gameblog
Monday, 1 March 2004
towards a scenario writing manifesto
Since I started writing scenarios for Starmada and BattleTech I've been doing a lot of thinking about design principles for these things. Here are my insights so far:

1) Terrain is nice, but don't make the scenario about the terrain. Sometimes a blank starmap or the Battletech basic maps are sufficient.

2) Only have duplicate units when absolutely necessary. No one else wants a BattleTech scenario with a lance of Urbanmechs or Star Trek fight with three Saladin class destroyers. Tracking which control sheet corresponds to which unit is a pain in the butt and I want no possibility of mistaking your Shadow Hawk for the enemies' SHawk.

3) Victory conditions should be interesting, but simple. Big "+5 VPs for this", "-3 VPs for that" charts are a big pain to balance properly.

4) A little background fluff really spices up an otherwise plain scenario.

5) In theory people are piloting these Mechs and starships. Try to keep that in mind.

6) A good "historical" scenario does not always make a good game.

Posted by jrients at 10:38 AM CST
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2004 10:50 AM CST

Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 8:21 AM CST

Name: neschria

Background fluff = good.

Wednesday, 3 March 2004 - 4:49 PM CST

Name: Jeff Rients
Home Page: http://www.geocities.com/jrients/

I totally agree. I've seen too many scenarios, miniatures games particularly, that are little more than a list of units involved and a description of the terrain.

Thanks for the comment.

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