Blighted Beginnings—Writing is a Sensory Experience

Friday, February 19, 2016

Last year I competed in the Paizo's RPG Superstar contest, and earlier this week I saw my complete winning adventure. It was humbling to see my first design work become reality. Roleplaying games are an integral part of my daily and family life. I play Pathfinder at least once a week, sometimes with friends, my children, complete strangers—I love to game! I love the social aspects of gathering around a table to share in the group storytelling experience. We explore, we laugh, we fight, we are a party, and we are together. As gamers we experience things outside our everyday lives, see places that exist in our collective imaginations. We get to be "not ourselves."

Winning RPG Superstar introduced me to a new aspect of my favorite hobby. I created a space for gamers to explore Nar-Voth and discover new things about themselves (should gamers follow those threads). One of the most important parts of the design process was finding places to include roleplaying solutions in addition to combat solutions. Creating believable NPCs was both fun and challenging. My favorite characters to create were the three "big bad" encounters. The personalities and relationships between Zohir and her underlings were crucial to giving options to players for dealing with the encounters. For each NPC, I created files of real and fictional people and relationships, created musical soundtracks, and for a few, I had specific perfumes that I wore when I wrote their scenes to help me focus and round out NPCs that could have ended up moustache twirling villains. Even now when I wear some of them I'm put in the frame of mind of Zohir and Delbera. (Editor's Note: Apparently Lady Delbera is Vétiver Fatal. We leave it up to you, dear readers, to convince Monica to share the rest!)

Illustrations by Sally Gottschalk and Vicky Yarova

Thank you Paizo, Lisa Stevens, Crystal Frasier, Amanda Hamon Kunz, and RPG Superstar voters and judges! Without this supportive gaming community we would still be searching for like-minded friends to share our dreams. Thank you for sharing my dream of an axe wielding dwarven cleric. Thank you Andrew for believing in me and for your endless support. This module is for all of you!

Monica Marlowe
Contributing Author

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Darklands Pathfinder Modules RPG Superstar Sally Gottschalk Vicky Yarova
Scarab Sages Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, Monica!


So, what's next from you?

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Rock on, Monica!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Bravo Monica! Easily my favorite adventure to come out of RPG Superstar! Whoot!


Liberty's Edge Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

This was fun to develop. I'm glad I got the chance to work with you, Monica!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Monica!

Every little bit of reveal, like the statue of (presumably) Lady Delbara has me itching to get to my FLGS>

I will be taking over GMing for my group as soon as I get this though. Really looking forward to it. :)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I look forward to reading it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, Monica!

I'm looking forward to the day that I can run your module for my store at PFS. :D

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I said it before, but figured I'd post it here again for posterity's sake...



Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Congratulations, Monica!


So, what's next from you?

I'm working on more fey for Zombie Sky Press for the immediate future. After that I believe there are some superheroes on the horizon. Somewhere in between I have some yarny projects to finish! And whatever Paizo has laying around that they need someone to write ;-)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventures / Paizo Blog: Blighted Beginnings—Writing is a Sensory Experience All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.