Creating Adventures

This is a draft.

Part of this game's intended core is adventure! — particularly adventure of the pulp-fantasy variety that was part of Zelazny's inspiration for Amber and the tradition of the writers who influenced him.

This tutorial is, essentially, about how to create and play your own adventure scenarios within the MUSH.

Adventures fall into three stages:

1. Concept
2. Mission Planning
3. Mission Execution


First, you need to come up with a reason for adventure, or, at the very least, an interesting place that you're going to go and where adventure is likely to happen to you even if you're not looking for it.

If you're short on ideas, consider consulting Abulafia, which is a collection of random generators for roleplaying.

The Golden Circle

Each of the Golden Circle shadows with a full write-up has a section called "Possibilities for Adventure". The suggestions and the themes available are broad, and many things that you might think of are readily doable in Golden Circle shadows. Importantly, each of the GC shadows has regions that are fundamentally uncontrolled and where it's by and large possible to simply make things up. If a GC shadow has a PC prop controller, it's useful to consult with them first, but the core intent of these kinds of regions is that it's easy for people to have one-off adventures in them. Since it's easy to get around the GC — many characters have travel powers that work within the GC, and if all else fails you can take a ship down an established shadowpath — just about anyone can go adventuring in the GC on a whim.

Pattern Travel

Pattern initiates are able to travel the shadows freely. This essentially gives them the ability to take themselves and their companions on any kind of adventure that they wish, anywhere they wish to go. (For people who wish to battle the Black Road, its taint can have spread through pretty much any shadow you can make up, so this is always an easy source for adventure.)

Other Travel

For those without Pattern, shadow travel is slower and more difficult, but this can be part of their excitement. Many of these other travel powers inherently have adventure built into them. Here are some excerpted examples of shadow-walking gifts along these lines:

  • Grave to Cradle. If this character kills a living thing, he can walk a path through shadow to the place where that thing was born. Such a walk essentially takes place through a metaphorical (and sometimes literal) Valley of Death.
  • Quest Perilous. This Graal-initiated knight of Lyonesse has developed the ability to engage in a quest through shadow. He may travel where the needs of others take him, seeking essentially randomly through shadow to find a place where his heroism is necessary. Or, he may travel to a shadow that he has previously been, but his journey takes the form of a quest, with all the perils and rewards thereof; such travel is consequently quite time-consuming.

In the course of going somewhere using such an ability, a character and his companions can certainly find themselves in the midst of a variety of adventures.

Respecting Prop Control

There are effectively three tiers of prop impact (i.e., impact on the location of the adventure) as a result of an adventure.

  • Trivial. This is an adventure for the sake of an adventure. It does not impact the prop in any lasting way, does not introduce any elements that will alter anyone's future play in that prop, and does not otherwise violate anything established for that prop.
  • Limited-scope. This adventure establishes lasting truths about a prop, alters a prop in a significant manner, or is an event of significance affecting a prop.
  • Large-scope. This adventure impacts multiple props and utilizes or impacts broader canon elements.

You can go on trivial adventures without informing anyone or asking for permission, although it's still courteous to notify the prop controller if the shadow is PC-controlled. The Golden Circle shadows generally have adventure seeds that specifically define the thematic scope of these kinds of adventures.

Limited-scope adventures require the prop controller's permission. Indeed, many such adventures are likely to be run by the prop controllers themselves; this category includes propco-originated plots.

Large-scope adventures require consultation with the GMs. These are large-scale, game-wide plots involving the core thematic ideas, interpretation of canon, broad impacts, etc.

Mission Planning

The planning stage of an adventure is one or more scenes in which characters talk through "the plan". If this were a caper movie, this would be the scene in which the characters gather around a map, point out the obstacles that they're likely to encounter, and describe their plan for dealing with each of those obstacles. Moreover, in a caper movie, it might be followed by a montage of the scenes of the characters doing the actual preparation.

The point of the scene is that you are essentially creating the adventure together. Each player in turn is essentially making up things that his character might have heard about the place, and suggesting obstacles, complications, solutions, things that need to be prepared, actions that should be avoided, clues, warnings, and so forth.

Mission Execution

The plan is what characters hope, ideally, will happen. Like all the best-laid plans, it is a theoretical at best. The adventure itself is likely to follow the broad blueprint of the plan, but things will probably go wrong.

One player can be designated as the GM for the adventure, or the players can take turns or otherwise cooperate to do the GMing duties. In general, the +challenge command can be used to see how well a character performs against a given obstacle or foe. The typical difficulty will be 6; hard tasks will rate a difficulty of 9. Extremely difficult, heroic efforts rate a difficulty of 12.

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