Posting on Grump's computer, not my Fire. I need to have more than one sentence paragraphs! (I almost posted as The Auld Grump because I hadn't logged Dennis out before logging me in. )
From time to time Grump has told me that he has literally dreamed a scenario, and I never really believed him.
But I told Grump that one of his Christmas presents this year was going to be running a game so he could play for a change.
Then I realized that I had NO FREAKING CLUE what I was going to run, and almost asked if he would like to run the game WITH me instead.
Then Saturday night I had a dream where I was running a game, directing a movie, and watching the movie/game and suddenly I knew what I was going to run!
Grump left out how WICKED AWESOME it is to dream an adventure. Suddenly I know why Grump runs games. I woke up from the dream because I WANTED TO WRITE IT DOWN!
And it was REALLY nice to have my subconscious send me a message in something other than a nightmare. It sent me the solution!
Wow, that was still a lot of one sentence paragraphs!
Strangely, I dreamed I was running/directing/watching an Eberron adventure, even though until yesterday, I had never read any Eberron material, just knew what Grump had told me.
Eberron is actually pretty awesome, and is NOTHING like Forgettable Realms or Greyhawk. It is its own place, and holds together better than any setting I have read before.
The dream was a mash up of Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Arc, National Treasure, and Maltese Falcon. Some of it was narrated by the Grump as Humphrey Bogart.
The idea is that the PCs start out hired by somebody to track down an artifact that will help the gods manifest on Eberron, instead of the hands off approach that is used in the setting. (Eberron even has atheists!)
In the dream the introductory patron was this fat naked man that was sometimes a silver dragon, meeting the players in a bath house, while nubile young women scrubbed him. A fat silver dragon, using the human shape to conduct business.
Part of that is as a dragon, being naked really does not bother him. And part of it is to make the player characters uncomfortable, so they would not spend too much time wondering what he is really up to.
And what the players don't know at the time is that sometimes he EATS one of those nubile young women.
He starts as their mentor and patron, both for the players and those young women, but he is really REALLY evil, and wants to use the artifact as a way of controlling the Draconic Prophecy, fulfilling its tenets in such a way that he decides what it means. The women are cultists, but do not know that he is just using (and eating) them. They literally mean nothing to him beyond his own convenience.
Rescuing the damsels from the dragon will probably be one of the adventures, at least if I know the way Grump thinks. (He WILL try to rescue them!)
Even after the players learn that the dragon is the bad guy, they will need a patron, and I need to come up with several, good, bad, academic, and mercenary.
Travel in the adventure will be free as long as they have a patron, and EVERY time they are traveling, something happens, or sometimes THEY happen to somebody else! I picture one of those maps where you see the characters' travels being highlighted with a colored line, like in those old movies.
And the scene where Indiana Jones is racing his horse alongside a train, then jumping from the horse on top of the train.
In the civilized areas travel will be by lightning rail, and when going to less civilized areas travel will be by either ship or airship.
Trying to keep one thing Grump has told me over and over. "An adventure is not the story. The adventure is the framework for the story that the players tell." Don't come up with a single way to handle or solve a problem, come up with three, and expect the players to come up with four, five, and six.
Doing this like the old serials and writing each part while running the previous part. I have a general shape for the story, and an idea of where it is going. And most of all, even if the dragon DOES get the artifact, it won't do what he thinks it will do. The dragon is just as much a pawn of the REAL villain as the players start out as the dragon's!
One of the things I like about Eberron, more than the Pathfinder world, is that the place is designed for globe trotting, and can handle a plot that covers more than one continent, let alone country.
I am sure that Grump's DMing dreams are more coherent than mine was, but it was WONDERFUL! I went from worrying about the game to really REALLY looking forward to it! I am actually EXCITED about this!
SO! I am asking for ideas for potential player patrons! One is already in the game, the Wayfinder Foundation, pretty much the Pathfinder Society by a different name. (Or the Pathfinder Society is the one with the different name, since Eberron came first.) I am picturing the leader of the Wayfinder Foundation a lot like the explorer in Up! But I will look up what he supposed to be like before committing to that.