Putting it All Together
The objective of designing adventures is to assemble enough story and game information to direct a successful game session. This body of information is the creative enterprise that has produced enough written material to support a cooperative event from beginning, over the course of a middle and through the ending of an interactive game story. How this body of information is assembled is a matter of creative preparation.
Working through the considerations of putting a plot plan and synopsis together, developing a story telling routine and designing challenging encounters will all be a waste of time of you can't deliver the goods. This exercise is about putting together a body of work to tell and direct a cooperative story; assembling an Adventure Portfolio or game guide to carry you through the game. This portfolio is all the notes, references and write-ups put together in a reasonable order so the quality of the work shows through during the game. RPG's are about a cooperative experience made manifest in execution and the proof is in the pudding. If a troupe consistently brings "extra reading material" to fill in the slow spots of your game, a wake-up call should go out that there shouldn't be any slow spots in your game. If there are the game is either too disorganized, lacking preparation or the group is too big to handle. All the good ideas in the world won't matter if you don't master the game. Don't go into a situation without a game plan.
A game plan is how a game production is intended to come together; a goal to work towards as the game evolves and constantly changes as a result of troupe involvement. By planning out the most probable outcomes and then controlling the story content and interactive dynamics to achieve that goal, a game master can more skillfully deal with production unknowns: how the players will react. Don't run adventurers with a pile of books and giving your players free reign until they come up with something interesting because that's a gamemaster's job. No matter what type of story or game system is used, there always needs to be an over all reference, or guide of things to accomplish. By knowing what needs to be accomplished, clever stories can be told by having different endings to account for different possibilities.
The Adventures Unlimited game plan starts with plotting out a story and writing up a synopsis. Get something on paper to work with and then try to figure out a routine or a way to tell your story to a group. Make a few notes on story delivery, mixed with experiential precedence; shtick. Part of that approach is to develop an event agenda; the program of events to be dealt with. By setting an agenda based on the various success and fail probabilities, enabling a wider scope of interaction outcomes and game control. Once the story events have been laid out, reconcile all the story shifting events can be turned into scenes. Each scene is a part of the story; an event; a happening. Every scene needs a wrap-sheet. A single page of notes and cues to tell the story, answer questions about the story and synchronize game mechanics. String along the scenes in arranged orders of conflict, resolution and outcome with reasonable plausibility - - reasoned events with back-up plans to handle unforeseen story outcomes and contingencies is the way to go. Plan out each of those encounters and justify the events and the consequences. Encounters need reference material. Write up all the NPC's in the story, gather all the setting and support material needed to guide the adventure according to the plan. Gather it all up and put together a Direction Layout; all the direction cues, an overview of the story, timing mechanics, informative bullets lists, reference notes to answer the most expected questions and alternative ideas. Write everything you need to direct the adventure from beginning to end with one or two pages. Unlimited adventure possibilities and applications ready for game night.
Tell an interesting story. Take the time to ask questions about the plot. Choose exciting happenings and create a sequence of exciting events that will tell your story. Create mental story boards and conjure enough inspiration and put out enough preparation to make an adventure happen. Interact with your own environment to put it all together. Read everything from the classics to cereal boxes and everything in between. Collect images and words and question everything. Judgment effects everything we do and by watching how the events and mechanics come together to effect things. Walk through the world with a reasonable mind and tell stories of the things that amazed and surprised you. Ask the simple questions of who, what, where, who and why and engage the improbabilities. Learn how to tell a story in time.
Putting an adventure in creative motion and keeping it in play is based on the merit of the events and how they have been reasoned. It is the manner in which they occur. Use session mechanics to deliver scenes as part of a story and as part of a game. Create a stage that is part of a game with relative mechanics whose outcome has effect. Consider some basics of scene design to help establish the criteria that important to your gaming situations:
Real-Time: How long should you take to tell the story? The more scenes there are in an adventure will take more time to complete. Simple adventures should wrap up in two or three hours depending on how much material has been prepared and how big the troupe is. Stories can be extended over many sessions and so can complex adventures. Take the time to figure out a troupe's attention span if you can and stretch it whenever possible. Develop a way to time storytelling and game mechanics for simultaneous execution. Timing mechanics is one way, but troupes can develop unique interaction pattern to achieve a fair play.
Game-Time: Set up scenes to occur in a perceivable time frame of fictional evolution. Make each scene's "time sense" figure in with how you tell the story and the timing of elements in the event. Do the events occur as linear, chronological or surrealistic? Story events happen in a fictional sequence; a start, a middle and an end: question to closure. Tell a story that makes sense or at least explains why the story question was asked, even if the answer is another question.
Place: Where is the scene happening? Stage the event. Take a mental "snapshot" of an imagined event and figure out setting details and establish the interactive variables of each scene's stage. Describe the location and the parts that work. Frame it with story points and create an interactive "play set" for the players.
Scene Conditions: Turn nuances of the living game into a relationship of story and premise, mechanical struggles and arrange the conditions of the situation to cause RPG conflict. Define the conditions and impose a story question. Identify what is at stake in the story and the goal. Plan for underdog victories and unfortunate setbacks to make growth and progression part of your story idea.
All the Scenes
The salient points of plot maturity should be an experience. A relativity of character and experience open to interpretation with enough situational values to control the story; open stages for actors to play their part. Use some of the following scenes to apply your own story's situational values to sustain interest and flow. Even if you are running a short adventure at a game convention, allow some time for players to sit down and get used to their characters. Answer their questions and encourage involvement. A good way to acclimatize players to their characters is to run a short segment without much mechanical peril and a lot of action. It gives players a chance to familiarize themselves to the character puppet and its strings.
Ask the story question and highlight ways in which players can get involved with each other and the story. Don't wait for lighting to strike, make it happen. Pick up players background material and create scenes with motivational connection or if it's a simple, single session with pre-designed characters, write up interesting characters that people will want to play. Outside of a convention setting, most players aren't too fond of pre designed characters. Be ready to placate them with quality characters and the promise of high adventure and get things started:
Exposition: Establish the functional details of the story. Set forth your facts and story ideas with a detailed explanation and get things started. Identify the connections between character and story and put events in motion.
Grand Entrances: Whether it's a pirate lord storming the deck or the sparkle of a protagonist's perfect teeth, let characters walk onto the stage with Grand Entrances. Give PC's a little air time early to introduce their characters and get introduced to the villains.
Shotgun Starts: Sometimes the best way to start a story is right in the middle of the action. Skip the long introduction and watch player's eyes light up as the space ship they are on as part of a routine trip gets captured by a dark lord and his army of armored thugs.
Foreshadows: Foreshadowing is usually a short narrative or dialogue from NPC's to suggest upcoming events. Ominous warnings and singing telegrams can always get stories moving.
Getting the Heroes Involved: Getting a variety of main characters together some times takes some coaxing. A strong start always contributes to party unity with a strong sense of story direction.
The White Rabbit: Entice characters to follow the white rabbit down Alice's hole to see where it goes. Whatever is on the other side is nothing but story.
Prologues: Depending on the story content, it may need more than just a brief introduction. Use interesting storyteller NPC's or step up to the plate and spin a yarn. Start your story off with a few lines or an opening monologue to get things going.
Great Execrations: Use mysterious benefactors and clandestine meetings to start telling stories with hints and secrets that promise great adventure and unknown surprises. Use notes as messages from characters to meet all sorts of NPC's and get embroiled in their dramas.
With the snowball on its way down the hill, use a game plan to handle the basics of progression and contingency. Once the story gets moving, it needs some place to go to, cause and effect are happening and the causes that started the story need to have an effect. Following up starting scenes with all sorts of middle scenes and tell a story in motion:
Plot Mains: Complication & Crisis; these are the staples of plot design. Get things started and complicate things. Once things are complicated, turn them into a crisis. Get used to the flow of story telling and then add in plot twists and turns.
Character Spotlight: Akin to Grand Entrances, Character Spotlights draw attention to characters with prominence. Run dramatic scenes and encounters for the purpose of making one or all of the characters in a troupe look good as a hero. This is when players get to deliver cool lines, perform heroic feats and reap accolades. Building main characters up as main characters is a function of every simple story and not only gets long campaigns off to a good start, but reminds players that their characters are needed in the story lines.
Subplots: Half opportunity and half planned, delivering subplots can stretch out story lines to increase complexity and difficulty or to go in depth about character involvement in a particular story. Connect story lines by letting the players untangle plots within plots and see what happens.
Rats in a Maze: One way to keep things moving in an adventure is to put characters in a maze of monsters or a web of treachery and maintaining the story line is interesting characters, puzzles and challenges. What they get on the other side can be a showdown with the villain or a dramatic closure to their trials and tribble-ations.
Brush With Greatness: Good or bad, when PC’s run into very familiar faces that fill the role of legends and icons, inspiring story movements get a little easier from those parental icons and heroes of heroes. Let PC’s meet the myth and inspire them to become legends themselves.
The Inquisition: Investigations, interrogations and clue finding fact missions will almost always be part of great adventures. Start out with a story clue: a treasure map, a mystery to be solved or other curiosity and give the players everything they need to conduct their investigations. Link contact and resource chains and make things interesting at the weak link. They are sure to lead to something...
Night Moves: Use blue booking and “off stage” role playing to let characters get into trouble and discover clues far away from home base and under cover. Subtle investigations, midnight rendezvous’ and deep throats doling out story clues can always grip attention and keep a story flowing.
Break up the linear flow of a story by putting a few twists and turns in the story: things that happen aside the main thrust of a story affecting it many different ways. Create curious diversions to stories being solved too quickly and account for unforeseen outcomes with stock side scenes to handle story events with skill. As a story evolves along a “path” of thought, ignore the wizard and stray off the path. You don’t know what will happen.
Back Story: In campaigns, longer involvement can afford more complex storytelling. Shift a story line to back story and support character interaction and role play short scenes that support a story but aren't necessarily part of the event as a way of giving motivational support to deeper stories. Simultaneous stories where the back story helps the main story make sense without actually being part of the focal plot conditions.
Dream Scene: Not the easiest scene to run, but one that can take stories in new directions, a dream scene can deliver clues, highlight obscure story directions and enable a unique form of character interactions as they occur in dreamland.
Flashbacks: Depending on the genre of a game, sometimes a story can take place that retells events about fantastic character development as a memory. Past tense played out in present tense. It is an interesting way to create character background material but making them "fit" into context with a "current" story line.
Level Up: Some games use level mechanics to associate story difficulty. When players are allowed to use their favorite characters, they sometimes need a little mechanical adjustment to regain story balance. Run short adventures before the main event (as a solo event or small group) with relevant story material, but also role playing any adjustments that occur. Justify the mechanical changes, up or down appropriately, so that character designs are leveled up for story encounters.
Supply Deficits: Some campaigns give characters a chance to gather so many resources and contacts that many stories become cluttered with past benefits. Every so often either temporarily or permanently take away the goodies. Flash floods, warehouse fires, and familiar characters moving to new homes far away can always explain loss of resources.
Trap Doors: J. Michael Straczynski created the idea of "Trap Doors" to tell character stories as a way to switch characters in and out of a story when real people leave a production. When a real player leaves, that gives you an opportunity to run a dramatic little side scene or encounter to remove and introduce new characters to the story.
U- Turn: One way to get a troupe's attention is to get things started and then pull a U-turn. Tell them everything they know has just changed with a scene's goal trying to figure out what's going on again. For troupe's with a little experience, rip the story rug out from under them a time or two and give it an ending in the outer limits of your twilight zone.
False Bottoms: Wrap up a scene and make it seem like the climax. Problem is, when the dust is settling and the protagonists feel all warm and cozy like its okay to go home and soak their feet, bring the plot back to life. Surprise them as a scene seems to end, but draws them further into the plot.
Transitions from scene to scene are crucial in gaming. It heralds the coming changes of new scenes and links events together. It is the flow of the story and the game. Blend events from scene to scene and help the players know what conditions are changing. Tell the stories of change and connection and work on scene evolution rather than a choppy jump from event to event, encounter to encounter. Help the logical progression of major scenes with minor scenes to make the jump not seem like an irrational leap of logic:
Setup: Set scenes up with a specific arrangement of closed ended small events and encounters that contribute to the cause of big events and encounters. Give players a reason to have their characters look up into the sky as the drops of unexpected rain fall down. When they look up, give them something to see: dragons breaking clouds, cracks of thunder and lightning as Norse tough guys ride down of flying chariots or start your dramas with a note in a bottle. Set them up to receive the story information in the next scene.
Pickup: After open scenes full of Player-Random events and dealing with a bunch of improbable outcomes, prepare stock scenes with control character, control groups or GM-DNPC’s to pick up where the players left off. Plan ways to bring wild events back in line with plausible reasons. Often, these scenes are improvisations, but making an attempt to arrange pickups can get you familiar enough to make it a routine.
Lead-Ins: As a setup is a closed flow approach, use lead-ins as a story material version of Grand Entrances. Tell a great story with a great opening, with an open flow approach. Create a story vision and then set players free to walk around in it and poke it with a stick to see what happens.
These are adventures after all and adventures demand action. Link the exciting events to the story material and add some special effects. Special effects are absolutely free in RPG’s and positively safe. No stunt people need apply. Add in explosions, earthquakes and all the elements needed for style. Try to make the story effects interesting and make the combats relative to story material.
Ambushes: When bad guys know they are likely to loose, they plan ambushes. Abandoned warehouses, tight canyons and fake lairs all make great places for an ambush and it's a good way to increase story intensity from complication to crisis as heroes follow their clues to dark alleys.
Chases: Hot potatoes, midnight runs and auto-duels are always good for action. Somebody has something the other wants and the hunt is on. Let the trumpets sound and the chase begin.
Combat Scenes: Self-explanatory. See Grace Under Fire below.
Grudge Matches: Whether it's a sporting event, a legal battle or a royal rumble, contestants who eat dirt usually want a rematch. Heroes will want to get “a piece” of the villains and villains love to complicate heroes' lives as they do good in the world.
Skirmishes: Instead of boiling combats down to single events, stretch them out. Let heroes and villains skirmish of minor or supportive goals as they both try to achieve the same final goal first. The focus of combat shifts from the tactical victory of overcoming their opponents to a string of events that have a greater focus. Trying to gets parts to a machine, save NPC targets or get to a series of location first, the overall strategy becomes more important than the battles. It's okay to lose the battles if you win the war.
No matter how much planning and preparation goes into an adventure, certain events will occur that just couldn’t be planned and need more than a transition. Use stand by scenes as routines for getting things back on track:
Safety Net: When the probabilities get out of hand, it's the control characters and control groups, hunteds and nagging DNPC’s that make the demands the characters can’t refuse. Always have ‘em handy, because you never know when
you're gonna fall off that plot thread.
Take Two: Once and a while, a scene does not work out and the only way to salvage a story is to do it over. Agree on a spot that every body got bogged down in and decree that certain events did not occur. Always try to salvage a plot line but know when to cut your losses and take a do-over.
Main scenes lead to a main event. All the buildups and plot twists lead to a big finish. This is when everything should come together. Goal meets anti-goal in the main arena. Villainy has conspired with darkness and its up to the heroes to save the day. Pull all the various discussions together and tie them into a knot. Try some of these scenes to bring your story to a climax:
Top O’ the World: When plots end with a big bang between good and evil, either the good guys or the bad guys think they have the upper hand; they are on top of the world. If either side believes the other to be reaching victory, the game should heat up into a final match of king of the mountain that should make your climax a good one.
Showdown: Little villain bosses have been defeated and now its time to take out the big villain boss. It's the final grudge match of the story and everybody’s chips have been knocked off their shoulders. Make it a good one and make it high-noon.
Double Jeopardy: Bring a plot line together with protagonists stuck between a rock and a hard place. Make heroes work for their victories and don’t spell out the answer. End complicated stories with complicated climaxes and answering hard questions. All the threads that wouldn't come together can be tied in as DNPCs are revealed as hostages, the bad guy has help or fate is working against the forces of light. Some days when you get out of bed, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
The Light Brigade: When darkness seems to be the victor and all hope is lost, in comes the charge of the cavalry to save the day. Occasionally give the antagonist a cavalry to come to his aid and stage a royal battle. Have your notes and write ups handy to handle all the characters and their equipment and let the cannons roar.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
While the dust settles and wounds are mended, events need a wrap-up. Bring closure to a story by reestablishing the status-quo and let heroes get back to the happy homes they work so hard to protect:
Bravado Sunset: Bonding the troupe together, its time for them to leave the city they saved and to turn down the offer to stay for they must seek new horizons and new adventures. They must saunter off into their Bravado Sunset.
Aftermath: Take the time at the end of an adventure to help the future rise out of the past. Let characters intermingle with NPC's and let developments begin anew. As characters clean up the mess and the game world reacts to what has happened, grudges and favors are tallied in the aftermath.
Mysterious Exit: When the bad guys need to get away to come back and be mean another day, give them a way out. Trap doors, slipping out in the commotion and paddy-wagons that never make it to the big house can end stories with the promise of tomorrow's adventures.
Just Desserts: As the wheel of morality turns, turns, turns, every body gets what they deserve and its fun to role play the final outcomes of a story.
Happy Ending: Lovers live happily ever after, rivalries are settled and the kid gets the dog. All story conflicts are resolved in a pleasant fashion, legitimizing their struggles and bringing peace to a troubled world.
Top O’ the World: When the adventurers get back from the big dungeon under the mountain and have sent the evil queen-dragon-horde-sorcerer-bad guy back to the abyss, let the heroes come home to a parade. Ticker tape parades and fireworks, it's time to throw a party and spend your loot.
Epilogue: Most everybody likes to get in a last word and story tellers are no different. Wrap up a story with an interesting point or character narration as an epilogue. A closing comment or a period at the end of an idea so you can close the story question with a big idea in a little package.
Get things started with a few stock adventures that have become familiar to GM’s over the years. Take the following basic threads and weave them into a story that fits your troupe:
Origin Day: Role play the PC’s first day of being a protagonist. This is when their lives are forever changed as they are knighted, mysteriously transformed into super-heroes and thrust into intergalactic wars. Today is the first day of the rest of your character’s lives.
The Contest: have an interesting NPC host a contest and draw PC’s into conditions they can’t escape. Welcome to Contest Island; PC’s can’t get off the island, have to compete and play by the rules. Rules that include a string of minor encounters that help players get used to their characters by running through an adventure that covers the basics of character abilities.
Suit UP!: Especially helpful in equipment heavy game settings, set up a first adventure so that players can choose their equipment for adventuring. Let them browse through armories and gadget-emporiums to find what they want and equip characters as part of a game instead of pre-game. Haggle players with NPC merchants and hassle them with NPC constables as they carry their big bag of adventuring tools from the store to their base.
Training Missions: Characters that are part of a control group or run with a control character are often prepared for big missions. Spend a first adventure role playing focus control characters and training the PC’s in mock situations and training grounds. Let players get used to their characters and set things up for the next adventure.
Garbage Bag Amnesia: Designed for more skilled troupes that can handle tough situations, let PC’s wake up with amnesia and let them explore the strange world they are in. Sometimes, they wake up in a garbage bag in the back of an alley with one story question to settle, “How did I get here!?” Make things interesting with the follow up question, "Never mind why I'm here, who am I ?!"
Return of the Fly
Make self-appraisal the end of an adventure for a GM. Good RPG's are about good gamesmanship; fair but challenging competitions with story material and legitimate outcomes. Don't brow-beat players into stories that don't make sense and roll dice for the sake of rolling dice. Stand and deliver: Do the work and prepare something worth playing - - don't waste the player's time, put together a game worth playing. Good GMing is about direction and style, fundamentally affected by judgment. Judgment of game mechanics, judgment of story material and the reflective judgment of looking in the mirror and understanding the face looking back. Make honor and integrity part of GM style and avoid the salacious vanity of GM power tripping, corrupting the respectability of the game. Communities are made up of individuals and individuals contribute to the whole of the community. Apply game judgment and balance with as much wisdom as you can muster and always remember that you can do better. Find all the flies in your soups and ointments and learn how to deal with problems as they occur. The end of every adventure should end with a GM's self-examination of delivery, performances, encounter outcomes and with a reasonable mind.
The Campaign Connection
When a game works out so well that everyone wants more, then it's time to make the decision of running a campaign. Campaigns can run many stories together over a character(s) lifetime spanning great odysseys. They are however, a commitment to run many stories, all of which need to be prepared for each session. It means a lot of work, but the rewards can be satisfying as characters and stories grow beyond measure. Structured and unstructured story developments twist and turn as characters struggle with unfinished business; familiar NPC's and old rivalries come for challenges in the here-and-now. Leaving the taste of “What comes next” anticipation in their mouths, there will be a tomorrow for character happenings. Characters and their stories will grow in experience and magnitude, turning an average Joe into Joe Legend.
"The life which is unexamined is not worth living"
Plato (428-348 B.C)
Grace Under Fire
Combat scenes are typically a huge part of role-playing games, so we're bouncing off the top here...
Combat is one of the most familiar scenes in an RPG because it exemplifies conflict. Adventurers combat evil kings and dragons, super-heroes fight super villains and creatures of the night do battle with things that go bump in the night. Whole game systems are dedicated to individual, group and mass combat and their very
specific mechanics. Combat becomes the competitive medium of the game as a comparative test of survival to which we can all relate to.
Individual Combat is mano e mano, two opponents in the ring struggling for victory. Take the time to understand the basics of individual combat to understand fighting from a fighter's point of view. Know the difference between a "striker" and a "grappler" and how those tactics play against each other. It is a GM's job to fairly judge all types of scenes and when players interested in martial arts start contesting rulings, a GM is going to be called to task or give up villain disadvantages as more and more negotiable adjustments are accounted for during combat.
Group Combat also has it unique considerations as teams of heroes and villains are pitted against each other. Team members can learn to coordinate and better their odds in combat which in turn promotes better player interaction as their characters learn to work with decisive precision.
Mass Combat describes when opposing armies do battle as a result of story events. So many encounters occurring simultaneously that there is no way all the simple encounters can be resolved. The mechanics of the situation change to account for a massive amount of necessary resolutions. Different game systems deal with different types of mass combat such as ship to ship, military unit to military unit or army to army.
Make some basic considerations when staging combat encounters to account for the variables of:
Magnitude: How many people have a score to settle? Individuals, groups or masses? Determine the presence of innocent bystanders, available allies and enemies willing to help the antagonist.
Arena: Where is the combat going to take place? Will it happen in a rural area or an urban area? Is the environment bland or exotic? Establish environmental variables, conditional adjustments for terrain, weather and other environmental incidentals.
Entrance and Exit: Character entrances and exits onto a field of battle are not only great opportunities for dramatic role playing but can play a fundamental role in the outcome of the situation. Characters can scout out conditions and determine vantage points and set up ambushes, but remember that a villain should have similar chances to get "home field advantage".
Tactics: Over the course of an adventure, characters will enter combat and stories can benefit from NPC's and villains having character-specific tactics. Don't make every combat scene a battle with the GM's particular tactics; develop individual tactics for individual characters to give the match variety and interest.
Course of Combat: A battle is going to start in one place and end in another. Have an idea of the course of combat and how it is going to unfold. plan out where the traps will be and when the cavalry rides in.
Rules of Engagement: Villains rarely fight fairly using surprise and initiative advantages to get in cheap shots and low blows. Take character conduct into consideration when they start dueling. Every combat should be a bum rush in a dark alley and sometimes pomp and circumstance gets knocked in the dirt. Know how the combat is going to happen.
Running good combat scenes can benefit from strategic quality and exciting story telling. As a game component, combat is a long chain of encounters measuring the conflict struggle in great detail. A good GM first knows the rules and how they work. Secondly, a good GM has a wealth of strategic ability to deploy during a game. The magnitude of game strategy and military tactics can be grasped with the help of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings and the collection of Sun Bin's Military Methods of the Art of War by Ralph Sawyer. These books can begin to illuminate the philosophies of competitive ideology, but so do football games and betting strategies based on those games. Competition and strategy is very much a part of the human condition. There are debate tactics, game tactics, tactics of war and political tactics. Take the time understand how the rules of engagement change and the motivations of the opponents and how those relationships can benefit certain types of stories. Put effort into developing character and team specific strategies. Don't run every combat in a game with the same strategic mind. Play out individual character psyche's and team maneuvers and objectives in accordance with their personalities, supported with background material.
Once you have the strategies and the mind sets down pat, use that for a basis to tell a more interesting story. Don't water down a game to counting beans, role play combat scene. Breathe character life into individual and team combats describing their conflicts and outcomes with intellectual and emotional gradients. Inspire mass combats with background information on key characters in the opposing armies and role play generals and captains sweating it out and enjoying the fruits of their labor. No matter the magnitude of battle, describe the close calls and the heat of the moment and the heroes grace under fire.
Fight Downhill, Do not ascend to attack.