Tips for a travelogue-style game?

  • 3 Replies
Tips for a travelogue-style game?
« on: January 23, 2017, 10:22:42 AM »
I just received my copy of the 2nd edition (it's beauuutiful), and I was kicking around a campaign frame idea: across the PAN-AM highway. Has anyone run a game like this? Any tips? I feel like the marathon road-trip provides a neat framework for character interaction, drama, and action.

Thank you!



  • 417
Re: Tips for a travelogue-style game?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 02:53:50 PM »
AW thrives on relationships. If the PCs are constantly traveling, it means you lose a lot of that intrinsic connection. It makes PC-NPC-PC triangles harder to construct and maintain, for instance.

That said, it's a great way to keep mixing up the kinds of threats the PCs will encounter.

Re: Tips for a travelogue-style game?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 09:07:22 PM »
I'd have them travel with a caravan of some sort, or possibly go through a set of locations on a set route in order to make the above problem a bit less severe.



  • 415
Re: Tips for a travelogue-style game?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 08:19:53 PM »
Tips for running a moving game.

• Make everything move.
if transportation is your groups focus, then focus on how NPCs / businesses / raiders / whatever use transportation. Focus on this, really hammer it down, everything about a place should relate to the flow of transportation to and through it. Barter should probably have something to do with the cost of travel, we say gasoline is infinite, sure, but it's still probably worth something. The things that make the world important matter now, cause running out of gas / bullets could mean stranded in the badlands.

I'd consider scripting the barter per session spent for a given character to also include how far they can travel (there and back again) in any given session. Assuming everyone has a car, and moving up and down from point A to B on the road matters. Maybe its A to B for one 1-barter, A to C for two, A to D for three. Allowing them to do more ranging options... dunno. Food for thought.

• Don't force player movement
The players should where they are, so if they like a place and stay there for a few sessions, that's fine. Provide incentives for them to move, or make accomplishing a task spatially sensitive, but also provide incentives for them to stay in case they end up finding the place for them. Just be wary of scattering your group across the highway.

• Relationships and character Drama needs to unfold quickly.
There are a few ways to do this, the first is to have the PCs arrive in the middle of the action. If things are already hitting a head drama wise, they get swept up simply by getting the basics they might need to leave.

NPCs and factions should also be moving up and down the Highway, that way they can run into groups often on the road to and from places, but just as important, those groups can have reputation in those places, having ties with or against these groups can offer good starting points for quickly developing NPC PC NPC triangles that offer something of a continuation of a story left behind.

Make spatial positioning important, this might include the cost in time to get somewhere or do something. If you want a game on the move, best to make sure the elements of the game that typically drive players (scarcity / competition) are also on the move.

Could be that everyone is on the move down that road, and it's less about going from place to place, as it is, the game takes place on a moving surface with people / groups falling behind or moving past. This allows for the stabilization of most games with an entirely different backdrop. Where's everyone going, what are they running from, does anyone EVER come back the other way? Although in this case having a car going at like 60mph with unlimited fuel makes travel from one side of the country to the other rather insignificant, but you can always scale up the road, scale down the speeds, or make re-fueling really interesting.