Followup of this answer to a question about short-stories lasting about one 4h play session or two max.
I master a game of Vampire: The Masquerade, and I would like to find (and modify) or write scenarios that do three things:
- Are short enough to be completed in one to two play sessions by a group of 4 vampire PCs
- Often contain (or are completely made of) clues or metaplot-advancement scenes
- Provide a "TV series episode"-style of storytelling, with a oneshot baddie, complete with plot hook, plot advancement and plot resolution (or sometimes maybe not competely resolved)
This is a choice aimed at trying to solve three other things:
- One of my player (as stated in the linked answer's question) has a short attention span, and prefers one-shot style scenarios with a story that stands alone and is not a long commitment to playing each week
- Sometimes a player is absent, this would bring the Absentee actor trope in some scenarios
- This would, I think, greatly fit in Vampire's storytelling style, as everything in the book is described as scenes or stories and so on.
Thus, I would like to have scenarios that are written with one plot, well-defined and well-isolated scenes containing clues about said plot, a "baddie", and a conclusion.
How would one write such scenarios ?
I think I'd go with first finding an overarching plot convenient with PCs' backgrounds and stories. One of my player's character has grudge with a part of the Follower's of Seth from right before his embrace, so maybe I'll start there.
Then I think I'd have to define the plot-advancing, "important" scenarios first.
And then finally I'd write "filler" scenarios, less important for the main plot.
For the scenario themselves, I'd do the same: Find the main plot first, with a baddie, then decide on what clues players would get, and write scenes around that. I'd say one or two scenes with some exposition, a number of scenes containing clues (a number of which are "optionnal" and would maybe result in better XP at the end?) and a way for players to navigate between this scenes.
This is where I'm not sure how. I think having n scenes, n-k of which are needed for the plot to advance and for the players to finish the story, is not so bad, but I think writing them all would be hard, or time-consuming, and I fear the end result would not be as qualitative as I'd wish it to be. I'm ambitious and eager, but I'm no hollywood scenarist that's for sure ...
If you know some scenario library available somewhere that fits this, feel free to tell also, as it would -at least- provide me with examples.