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1

Most stories are strictly formula. As TV Tropes notes, this is one of the biggest things making stories predictable (with all the negatives that entails) and yet it is by far the most successful format. Imagine a "romantic comedy" with a twist: It's actually a Godzilla movie. Ten minutes before the end, Godzilla attacks. The entire cast dies in ...


3

Changing the contents of a published adventure is not just allowed, it should be expected. I have been DMing D&D and Pathfinder for 40 years. I own approximately 60 published adventures and have run all of them at least once, most of them twice, and several of them three or more times. Do you know how many times I have run a published adventure exactly ...


11

It's not possible to achieve all those goals. What you're asking for is, in effect, this: Given a setting that has a very well-established tone, can I run a campaign that pretends to follow that tone, but later turns out not to, without warning the players in advance, but also without upsetting them when it happens? You can't. Tone affects people emotionally-...


6

This might be handled with a carefully crafted/guided Session Zero, in which you verify that players are okay with the world not being exactly what they expect it to be. You could give examples: your ponies "wake up" to find they're something else entirely, and were only dreaming they were ponies; your ponies find out they're actually the villains (...


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