Last night I was feeling that creative itch so rather than gaming I decided to spend the time writing an adventure for pen and paper roleplaying. I get this every so often and usually find writing an adventure or two meets that need.
Of course in theory I could equally have been creating a module in Neverwinter’s Foundry user generated content (UGC) toolset. However having briefly played around with it, there is a lot of learning to be done before I feel remotely comfortable with it. I have an IT background so I’m used to learning new software from scratch, that’s not the problem. The issue, one I found with the original Neverwinter Nights as well, is that you end up spending a lot of time just dealing with the foibles of the toolset, and working out how to translate ideas into a working form in that toolset.
When I write a pen and paper RPG module I generally spend the bulk of time on story, challenges and fleshing out descriptions. With a toolset for UGC the longest time seems to be spent on simply “dressing the stage” – you have to do the visual layout in a lot more detail than a simple sketch on squared paper.
Last night however I decided to draw out a location map using Libre Office’s Drawing program. It was a ‘function over form’ Sci-Fi station I was mapping out so the grid was helpful enough as most rooms were regular shapes. However it still took a very long time to do this using software. I could have drawn the map and scanned it in *much* less time.
So far I’ve hesitated in creating a module in the new Neverwinter, not because I’m not interested. Rather it’s because I know that even with growing knowledge of the toolset it just takes so much longer to create something playable than it does using simple pen and paper.