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Subject: Custom Scenarios rss

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Austin L
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Unlike in Above and Below, in Near and Far certain stories/scenarios will be read more often than others by necessity. The adventure spaces that are "near" to town will generally always be used (unless a book is intentionally not placed on them), while the adventure spaces that are "far" from town have a higher chance of being "the one that got away" by game end. Also most of us will play the game our first time on map one, and then will probably use map one or two to teach others in subsequent plays. All this to say, since there is no randomization factor--that is since adventure C will always reference story C--some of the stories from Near and Far are becoming more easily "bookmarked" in my mind than the full randomization of Above and Below. From purely the story reading angle, Near and Far seems to have slightly less replay ability than Above and Below.

So the question: Has anyone decided to write their own custom scenarios for personal use as alternatives to certain maps?
The main issue here is that if the problem you're trying to solve is being too familiar with stories (for, say, your favorite map), then you will personally be very familiar with any stories you write. It could be of great benefit to a group you play with regularly however. (Perhaps each member of the group could contribute a set of stories.) I believe there is enough canon between the Near and Far and Above and Below story books to be able to write fan scenarios that respect the world created by Ryan.
Which brings me to the other problem. One would not want to tread on the toes of the designer, who has put a great deal of love and effort into this game. Let me say first of all that this idea only makes sense for those who adore the game, and play it incredibly often, because they enjoy it so much. It's not to say it needs improvement, but to say the product is so great for some of us that it's worth investing some time into writing custom scenarios for personal use. The second point here is that I would be very wary of sharing my own written stories with the public unless I heard from Ryan that he was comfortable with custom scenarios being circulated. That's a different topic though; for now I'm just asking if anyone has written or plans to write their own scenarios for Near and Far, how that process went, or how you are planning to go about it. Which map(s) do you want to write stories for? What are the elements you would be most excited to put into your own stories? ...Be that certain rewards ("Let's get some cash flowing!") or certain story elements ("Glogos are my favorite! I want more glogo stories!").

Also I am aware that Ryan has written an alternative set of stories for a couple maps already. I am a Kickstarter backer of Amber Mines myself. And he may very well write even more, who knows. I would be very excited if he did. I am also aware of the campaign and arcade modes, which absolutely double the game's replay ability.
1. Like I said, this idea probably only makes sense for the fanatics who will play this game into the ground no matter how many expansion stories Ryan writes.
2. The point of this is not just to give the game more replay ability. It's to have fun writing scenarios, trying them out, and watching your friends experience your own custom work. I myself haven't gotten many plays in yet, but this is one of the first placed my mind went when I realized I was going to become familiar with the stories more quickly than I had with Above and Below.

Excited to hear if there are more like me.
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Kim Williams
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For my husband's birthday I created a custom map of the area we live in, and then created 16 stories for the map. I incorporated appropriate creatures into the stories (Glogo's, fishfolk etc) but also lots of references to myths, incidents etc from our local area (the most westerly part of the UK).

The map itself isn't very well done (just a quick water colour job, using a child's paint set, but it does the job.

I created new trade routes that were more appropriate to our area (fish, pasties, magic and potatoes) and also added a new map feature (plus 3 hearts when travelling in the direction of the arrow). The latter was when I realised that lots of the stories require a large amount of travel, so I wanted to give you some extra hearts to help you.

I based the number of each type of space (gem, coin etc) on the intro map. I also made the story results approximately match normal stories, and reflect a similar distribution of faction banners to the stories for the intro map. I also made the story options give you appropriate faction banners based in the faction properties as stated on the faction card.

When we played I chose to play on arcade mode, so I wouldn't know the outcome of story choices.

Here's a photo I took at the end of our game:

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Elias Helfer
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entwife wrote:


The map itself isn't very well done (just a quick water colour job, using a child's paint set, but it does the job.



I wouldn't mind seeing what you could do if you put some effort into it, then!

It's a great idea, though. May have to do that when I get the game (I pledge for it through the Amber Mines KS).
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Peter Cooper
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It looks amazing.
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C&H Schmidt
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That's super cool, Kim!

Doesn't the expansion come with custom scenarios that add different stories to particular maps?
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Kim Williams
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Thanks for all the kind words!

eliashelfer wrote:


It's a great idea, though. May have to do that when I get the game (I pledge for it through the Amber Mines KS).


It was great fun coming up with the stories. Last year I did a set of Christmas stories for Above and Below (again for my husband's birthday, which is in December), but I found it much easier coming up with stories based on places we know and love, for this map.
 
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Jason
United States
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entwife wrote:
For my husband's birthday I created a custom map of the area we live in, and then created 16 stories for the map.


You're an absolute gem.
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Gerry Smit
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I think we'd all love for you to post a scan of the map and your stories into the files section, I certainly would!
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Kim Williams
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GerryRailBaron wrote:
I think we'd all love for you to post a scan of the map and your stories into the files section, I certainly would!


I'm not sure they're good enough for that! What I really wish is that I had the skills to make a digital art version of the map - then things like the coin and gem spaces could all be nice and identical. Maybe if I put a good quality photo of the map up, someone would have the digital wizardry to make a better/ more consistent version.

I also fear there are still undiscovered typos in the stories. Once we've run through all the stories in our games, I could at least get Ant to check them through for errors - I find it hard to spot ones I've made myself.

But yes, if Ant's OK with me sharing it, I'd be happy to do so.
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