By - June 5, 2008 - 3 Comments

Stretching scenes: Less prep time, better games!

Less prep time. Better game.

Here’s an easy to make your next gaming session more fun without spending much time preparing:

  • Build on what you already have.

Thinking in scenes
Let’s suppose you have a campaign outline and that you have one badass scene coming up in your next game. Why not strive to make that great scene unforgettable?

Think about ways to make that scene – either combat or non-combat – longer. Can you weave a long-lost friend or enemy in that scenes? Can you add an environment threat, like a collapsing building, at the end of the scene? Can more enemies join the fray because an alarm sounded?

Anything that can make the scene longer will save you time and add to the entertainment value of your game.

Stretching scenes:

  • Forces PCs to use all their abilities.
  • Keeps players on their toes for upcoming sessions
  • Saves you time.

Why wouldn’t you do it?

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Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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Stretching scenes: Less prep time, better games!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Leave a comment (3 comments so far) »

  1. Tommi says:

    I would not always do it because adding useless and irrelevant material to the game to simply make it longer is a good way of watering it down and killing pacing. This is, of course, only true of material that is not central to the play experience.

    Adding extra opponents to a fight scene can be a good move in a game that puts lots of emphasis on the fighting and where it is fun in and of itself, but would not be a useful thing to do in a game where the fightint is not mechanically interesting and where the way the defeated opponets are dealt with is the actually interesting bit.

  2. fishercatt says:

    As Yax said, adding an environmental component to any scene is easy to do and worth the time. Don’t worry about the mechanics, if your the DM you can wing it, and if you have a rules hound in the midst just kill the character.

    Helm’s Deep would have been much less without the rain, and yet it really had no impact. Think of a bunch of the good side scrolling video games (The Princess is in another castle! Oh Daisy!) when you enter a room and the Big Bad Boss just leaves through the back door and you have to fight the Goombas to move on. Dropping hints and clues and adversity is simple to do and will make a good scene last longer in the session and longer in the minds of the players. It’s like in college when you had to write essays: Write one paragraph, then cut it up into sentences and make one paragraph out of each of those. Just make certain that you still leave each character with something special that either only they can do or that highlights their storyline only.

  3. My players tend to stretch roleplaying encounters out on their own, plus there’s always a great deal of RP amongst the PCs. It may feel like we “aren’t getting much done” in the big picture view, but it enhances the actual experience of playing for all of us, so I always roll with it.

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