After we have brainstormed our adventure, we can do an optional second stage of brainstorming - a playthrough of the adventure we have created.
Playthrough is a freeform (no rules), improv-heavy game. Think of it as a mix between a regular roleplaying game, a collaborative writing session, and fully-improvised storytelling. Our goal is to play through the whole adventure, flesh out our story, fill in the blanks, answer the remaining open questions, come up with more details and cool ideas, practice running the adventure before we do it for our players.
Here’s how it works:
- Before we begin, we summarize the ideas we have developed during the brainstorming stage (story summary, locations, characters, challenges).
- Each player makes their own character, and also picks one of the NPCs they will play.
- Players take turns GMing. One player GMs a scene, we play through the scene, then the next player GMs the next one. The scene ends when the current challenge is resolved, or when the location changes, or when the GM wants to tap out and let someone else continue the story.
- Current GM describes the location/characters, introduces the challenge, narrates consequences of other player’s actions, introduces difficulties/complications.
- Regardless of who is currently GMing, everyone is free to contribute to the story at any point. Add ideas, details, put characters in interesting situations. If GM gets stuck and doesn’t know what happens next, we just pause for a quick brainstorm where we all figure it out together.
- Roll dice for successes/failures of major actions, significant outcomes. 10+ is success, otherwise it’s a failure or a major setback.
- We play through all the scenes until the story is resolved in an awesome and satisfying climax.
- The game is screen recorded, or one of the players volunteers to take notes. After the game, we write down the summary, which is basically a complete adventure we can run for our players or publish.