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Building Roulettia: Week 1

My Goal: By the end of the month, write a 5+ page Cypher System module containing everything a GM would need to run an adventure in Roulettia.

Week 1: Create a spreadsheet with all of my current ideas.

Week 1 is done, and I did it! (Mostly. I do have to go back in and enter three fields). So what did I enter?

13 Characters

5 Aliens

7 Adventure Hooks

33 Items

14 Locations

2 Minigames

6 Organizations

8 Miscellaneous Entries

All in all, more than enough stuff to fill 5 pages. So on a macro level, we're doing pretty well. On a micro level, however, there are a few considerations I'll need to keep in mind.

Characters & Aliens: As I figured they might, these two categories got a little bloated, considering that they included important NPCs, PC descriptors, pregen characters, and common enemies. As such, those are the four categories I've chosen to split them into!

Adventure Hooks: I'm actually really happy with the number of adventure hooks I have, and most all of them can be summed up in 1-2 sentences. Instead of having a section for adventure hooks (which was my original plan), I'm going to try including them in appropriate moments in the reference regions at the side of the page, where they can be easily seen but not demand too much space.

Items: I either have 13 too many items or 67 too few. That's because, instead of entering prices for each of the items available (which I know I will NOT be great at balancing), it feels more appropriate to put them on a table that a reader could attach to a random dice chance and, unfortunately, the only dice roll bigger than 20 is 100. This will likely be the section that sees the most overhaul from me, as I try to unify the items onto a cohesive table.

Locations: This section is where I realized I have a lot of great descriptive information but not a lot of concrete, functional information. I'm not sure what I want to do with locations - the reason the list is 14 locations long is because some locations (like Funbuck's Funhouse and Hotel) have multiple rooms described, while others are relatively bare. At this point, I'm not sure if the solution is to add more information or add less. When entering locations, I'm planning on looking to how the Numenera core rulebook handles the Steadfast as reference. After all, my goal with the Roulettia module is not to provide an atlas/encyclopedia for the city, but rather to distill its tone into a shot of ideas. One interesting location that I added to the list was "Cartesian," which could be a fun additional mini-module I could develop for free release, so potential buyers of the Roulettia module could see what my writing style is like.

Minigames: The only minigames I have right now are the Cypher Exchange used by Tattertop at Penny in Pocket and Hop Scotch (the game, not the person). While I could easily add more games (e.g. rules for the Aneen races in The Land of Tomorrow), it seems simpler at this point to place the Cypher Exchange in with the items list and give Hop Scotch its own section, an honor I think it deserve.

Organizations: Seven organizations is too many. My current rule for big entries (important NPCs, descriptors, pregen characters) is to stick to three. Right now I'm leaning towards relating each organization to an NPC, but considering that one of the biggest organizations (JET.CO) isn't strongly associated to any major NPC, I might broaden what I can associate an organization with.

So yeah, that's my progress for the week! My use of thorough GM notes made this a lot faster to put together than I predicted, but somehow I feel like the real challenge will be pruning this list into a more cohesive form during Week 2. Until then!


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