OK, before I dive into my process for forming a scenario pack, a few amendments.
BtW Spreadsheets and Stuff
First, I’ve revised Joel Priddy’s blank spreadsheet to include various cues and comments for monomyth stuff.
Second, this is my new playbook, The Tiktok Child, as an example. It’s in raw spreadsheet form, but hopefully that won’t hurt the content too much.
How is it supposed to work? Well, you start with your concept, then your class and starting attributes (parts 1 to 3), then you work through the various stages (parts 4 to 8).
The “Fiction!” sections for each stage are for you to write down roughly what happens to the character in this area, with a view to the monomyth. For example, in The Tiktok Child the flow was:
- The child grew up with the other villagers (Ordinary World)
- Something forced or enticed the child to leave the village (Crossing the Threshold)
- They met their creator, who turned out to be a wrong ‘un and had evil plans for them (Road of Trials)
- Their friends came to the rescue (Ordeal)
- They were welcomed back into the village and shown that they were wanted there and belonged there (Reward and Return)
Next, translate the fiction into a useful question. We know something forced them from the village; don’t ask if it happened, ask what or why they left.
Since the fate of the creator is ambiguous, there’s a potential future baddie. Also the symbols on the badge are unexplained. Future hooks.
I’ve also updated my prelude diagram to include a fifth stage.
I realised there was one vital piece missing, which is the Return with the Elixir stage, or “what does your skill mean to the rest of society?”
It’s sort of the counterpoint to the Ordinary World section. In fact, both are viewpoints on the Ordinary World: at the start of the cycle the character’s viewpoint will have been from the POV of innocence (or ignorance). At the end, it’s from the POV of experience.
So, start at the Reward (around 8 o’clock) and
work counter-clockwise to work out what sort of Ordeal you had to go through to get that knowledge, and why you did it (or were forced to do it)
work clockwise to consider what having this skill means in the context of your society, e.g.
- does it confer status
- does it make you suitable for a particular job
- does it put you in touch with particular people
- does it make you responsible for someone or something