For this week’s The Witcher TRPG developer’s note, we’ve asked new R. Talsorian Games writer James Hutt to talk about his work on The Witcher’s Book of Tales, a collection of adventurers we will be releasing for the game.
Did we just confirm we’re working on a book of adventures for The Witcher Tabletop Roleplaying Game?
Huh. Guess we did!
Hello, my name is James Hutt, one of the writers working on cool adventures with which to kill your players in the Witcher TRPG.
No, we’ve never met.
J asked me to provide a quick rundown of my feelings about writing adventures for the Witcher TRPG.
And it turns out, I’ve got a lot of feelings.
This one’s about the initial stage of my writing process (no please don’t run, it’s short, I promise).
Sometimes I am asked: “How do you come up with your good ideas, what’s the process?”
I start with what I call a guiding question. I meditate on it, like a mantra. Which question I meditate on is different based on project I am working on, and the results I want to ultimately achieve with my design. My current guiding question for my work on the Witcher TRPG is:
How do I present GMs and their players with an undeniably Witcher gameplay experience of the Witcher TRPG that they will remember fondly long after they leave the table?
Once I get an idea, I start with building a core climactic event that I want people to remember. Not just any climactic event will do, it has to be something Witcher. You know what I mean. If I can’t provide that with my idea… It’s a bad idea, and deserves its fate: death.
Should it remain alive, I playtest a miniature version of that interesting moment, and monkey with it until it feels right, because in a TRPG, you should get to PLAY the climax, it shouldn’t just happen to you.
When the idea has passed these two tests, I try and write something that more deeply anchors the initial idea and its climactic event to the Witcher’s core themes, world, and characters. The big three. A lot of time goes into this step. Many bad ideas also lose their lives here.
When an idea passes these three tests, I pitch it to Cody Pondsmith, the fourth test.
Then, the real work begins.