Between sessions you should plan for the next game. Do not over-prepare by predetermining the outcome of stories and a single solution for every challenge—the players will tackle problems in unexpected ways and take the story in surprising directions. If you don’t over-prepare, you waste less of your own time and enjoy the player Characters doing things outside-the-box instead of grumbling about all the preparation you did going down the drain.
Review the player characters’ Story Path Events and use those as a jumping off point to craft your narrative for the next few Session. Can you work each event into a cohesive plot that fits with the game people want to play and your campaign?
Prepare any maps, handouts, and character sheets you need in Roll20, or review the information contained in a purchased module, so you’re ready for the next Session. Four sets of map tiles came with your purchase of Burn Bryte. You can find more information about using Roll20 in the Roll20 Wiki.
All you need to prepare to run a Session of Burn Bryte is an adventure idea, each of the player characters’ upcoming story events, and any map, token, or other preparation you want to do in Roll20.
When you prepare an adventure for Burn Bryte, consider the following elements:
Story Hook. A good adventure has a reason for the player Characters to get involved in the story. They might be motivated by monetary reward, the need to do the right thing, boredom, or personal reasons (such as helping a friend in danger). Story hooks are inciting events that kick an adventure off, like a distress call, a wanted poster, a public kidnapping, an ARC job posting, news about The Burn advancing on a planet, or some other exciting information that calls the player Characters to action using their motivations.
Goals. Adventures always have at least one goal for the Characters that can be summed up in a sentence. The goal should be something the Characters can do like, save a group of refugees before The Burn claims their planet, Recover a lost Omniscient artifact, stop The Daylight cult from sacrificing a Politician, negotiate a peace treaty, smuggle medicine to a settlement that needs it, or find and make public the evidence of an overguild boss’s corruption.
Fantastic Locations. Adventures should take the Characters to incredible places, be it the deepest caves of a crystalline asteroid or a city of skyscrapers that covers the entire surface of a planet. Celestial Bodies, space stations, and Spaceships with unique, defining features make excellent locations for Adventures.
Interesting NPCs. Create NPCs who help and hinder your Characters as they go on their adventure. A villainous cult leader, a helpful Scientist, and a backstabbing Politician all make Adventures fun and interesting. Give each a few distinguishing personality or physical traits like, “grumpy,” “scratchy voice,” “always tired,” or, “cheerful” to help further define them.
Challenges. Every adventure includes challenges the players Characters must overcome to achieve their goals. These challenges include Combat encounters and obstacles such as traps, security devices, red tape, hazards, and NPCs working against the player Characters.
The Burn. The Burn should come into play in your adventure in some way. It is the defining event of Burn Bryte and touches all things in the world, so it should be easy to work into your adventure. The phenomenon could have a heavy presence in the story, such as chasing after the player Characters as they attempt to outrun it on their ship, or it could play a smaller role, such as displacing a group of people who come to the player Characters seeking safe transportation to a new home.
When you sit down to prepare an adventure, write out the adventure’s story hook, goal, location, challenges, and details of how The Burn is involved. You can do more preparation by putting maps, tokens, and more in Roll20, but as long as you have these core elements plus a plan for your characters’ Story Path Events, you can run an adventure.