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Sanguine Writings - Rejected Submission


Scenario Submission Talk

Cheliax

Please critique away. Oh, and I spelled Absalom a bit better this time :)

Sanguine Writings:

Sanguine Writings

Thomas William is a middlingly wealthy merchant from an ancient family of Absalom. He is also a vampire. One of many heirlooms of House William, is a book. Old to the point of decay, this is at first glance a book of household accounts, somehow kept through the ages for no good reason. Rumour suggests another story. Word has reached the Pathfinders that this book actually contains a cypher, and the key to one of the oldest dungeons below Absalom; The key to untold wealth.

There are effectively two routes to gain the prize of this adventure. Depending on the group, either infiltration, and theft, or alternatively, a less combat focused route, to convince the vampire to relinquish the text. The initial interview with the field marshal should establish the second route is feasible, indeed offering a good amount of gold the the possible purchase of the book. Of course, any gold left over would be the PCs to keep.

Initial gather information should reveal the mundane aspects to Mr Thomas William, a habitual old man, of good standing, and moderate wealth. Honourable, though elusive. Higher rolls should show that no one actually knows what line of business Mr William is in, perhaps he lives off his families old wealth. The important information is that one of Mr William's habits is a post sunset walk. This usually takes an hour or so, and should give the PCs the perfect opportunity to introduce themselves, or infiltrate the house.

The house and it's inhabitants should be described throughout the most obvious route to success, the infiltration. Of course, should the characters take the other route, the details are there for the DM to run them through a tour of the house, and it's contents. The grand finale of this tour, being a grand feast, during which the PCs can attempt to persuade the vampire to relinquish the book. Of course, displeasing the vampire when he is surrounded by his minions could lead to a difficult encounter.

An infiltration would consist of the following encounters, the initial introduction to Mr William, the tour of the house, ware-wolf discovery, wherein Mr William would claim the “beast” to be an intruder and beg the PCs to destroy it, and the final grand meal, where the PCs either gain the book, or face the full wrath of the vampire.

Infiltrating the house should be a not too difficult affair. The doors and windows are sturdy and locked, but nothing outrageous awaits. Once inside, a game of cat and mouse begins, with various minions of Mr William going about their duties, and able to raise the alarm. Encounters included in this path would be the initial entry to the house, avoidance of the more mundane house staff, the same encounter above with the ware-wolf, the puzzle that would entail retrieving the book from it's casement, and then escape from the house, as a magical alarm spell brings Mr William back in a rage.

Osirion ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nevynxxx wrote:

Please critique away. Oh, and I spelled Absalom a bit better this time :)

** spoiler omitted **...

First off, I don't intend to be mean. I plan on submitting myself, so I know I'll be "critiqued" just as much.

First off, the wording of this proposal is a very painful read for me. There were some obvious spelling errors, both those picked up by Word, and those not. Plus, there were some serious punctuation problems. I suggest a good writing book called "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. While dry, it does an excellent job of laying out simple rules for composition and punctuation.

That aside, the concept behind the adventure is interesting, but a vampire/werewolf motif has been very overdone thanks to Hollywood. If you want to approach this again, I would suggest a different type of creature as Thomas William. Also, while we only get 500 words for the quick proposals, I think you should focus less on alternative ways for the party to get into the house to achieve their goals, and more on what they are suppose to accomplish and why. I've run about half of the Pathfinder adventures so far, and most focus more on the "what" and less on the "how". Players will always come up with unique ideas on how to solve a problem anyways, just to throw GMs for a loop. The Pathfinder adventures seem to cover a basic idea of how the adventure might play out, not one or two specific paths of how it should or must go.

While I certainly fail epically sometimes in avoiding passive sentences, I think a lot of this write up is very passive. I think something like

Quote:
Initial gather information should reveal the mundane aspects to Mr Thomas William, a habitual old man, of good standing, and moderate wealth. Honourable, though elusive.
should read more like
Quote:
Parties using Gather Information find that Mr. Thomas William is a habitual old man in good standing with moderate wealth, and has a honorable but elusive personality.

Also, is this sort of information really that important to a quick proposal?

BTW, what is an honorable but elusive personality?

Anyway, I think the concept has some merit, but the pitch was way off. I suggest being much more aggressive with your proposal, clean up some of the grammar and spelling, and try to find something other than a vampire for Mr. William's big "ta da" factor. Plus, you should explain where a field marshal comes into this or drop him all together from the proposal. Finally, where'd the werewolf come from?

Finally, when I need to submit something, whether a proposal like this, or even just an e-mail, I find it helpful to read the piece out loud exactly as written. This way, I’m not just hearing it in my head. I have to listen to it as well, and I can discover things I might not see otherwise. Like I just did about five times with this post.

Hope this helps. Good luck, and keep on trying!

Cheliax

William Sinclair wrote:

First off, I don't intend to be mean. I plan on submitting myself, so I know I'll be "critiqued" just as much.

I wouldn't have posted it if I only wanted rosy replies. i don't think they will get much harsher that Josh's one line email was. :)

William Sinclair wrote:


First off, the wording of this proposal is a very painful read for me. There were some obvious spelling errors, both those picked up by Word, and those not. Plus, there were some serious punctuation problems. I suggest a good writing book called "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. While dry, it does an excellent job of laying out simple rules for composition and punctuation.

I'll have a look into that, I've always had trouble understanding the rules of grammar, but then again, got *very* good English grades the last time I was tested on it (ohhh, 10 or 12 years ago now). More research can't hurt!

William Sinclair wrote:


Also, while we only get 500 words for the quick proposals, I think you should focus less on alternative ways for the party to get into the house to achieve their goals, and more on what they are suppose to accomplish and why.

I was trying to emphasise that there would be a *much* better chance of getting through the adventure in a non-combat manor. but I seem to have failed miserably in that respect too.

William Sinclair wrote:
Quote:
Initial gather information should reveal the mundane aspects to Mr Thomas William, a habitual old man, of good standing, and moderate wealth. Honourable, though elusive.
should read more like
Quote:
Parties using Gather Information find that Mr. Thomas William is a habitual old man in good standing with moderate wealth, and has a honorable but elusive personality.

Hmm, I see what you mean. I will have to try harder on that count.

William Sinclair wrote:


BTW, what is an honorable but elusive personality?

Good point, in my head I know exactly what I mean by that, but it could have done with some more elaboration.

William Sinclair wrote:


Finally, when I need to submit something, whether a proposal like this, or even just an e-mail, I find it helpful to read the piece out loud exactly as written. This way, I’m not just hearing it in my head. I have to listen to it as well, and I can discover things I might not see otherwise. Like I just did about five times with this post.

I've seen that trick before (

Spoiler:
Apparently the Roman's thought it impossible to read "in your head" and had special reading rooms where they could go to read aloud. Maybe I need one of those!
).

Thanks a lot William. I'm tempted to take your advice and re-write that proposal in a few days. Would you critique that too?

Osirion ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure, no problem. I'm working on a murder mystery proposal now. Hoping to finish it up in the next week or so.

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