The Shadow Monastery
How a story becomes our own through choices and paths
Was it a choice to make? or a path to follow?
Many plans had been laid on both sides of the conflict. Two parties wanted the same thing although for different purposes and motivations. This created a conflict because there was only one Black Lotus.
First, I love to credit The Arcane Library with this quest. I had purchased the Monastery of the Shadow Sorcerers and read through it, loving the plot of the villain and ninja theme. One of my players performed as a Monk of the Cloverblade, a faction with the world of Bonzarel. I thought that the story of the black lotus provided a great quest hook. Since my game already had a villain, I made the villains in the adventure module neutral characters that provided a barrier to anyone laying claim to the legendary flower.
Although I followed most of the incidents and prompts in the adventure, you will find that the players made their own choices based on their motivations, which generates a completely new story out of the adventure module.
It’s not that the story is different, but player’s choices make a new story out of the existing one. This flexibility is one of the reasons I love playing through and reading theses adventure modules by Kelsey Dionne.
What about you? If you are a dungeon master, do you enjoy these slimmed down modules that leave room for player’s choices? Or do you enjoy more streamlined adventures that provide a clear path for the players to follow?
Now I will speak to our lives - I think it consists of a blend of an open world in which your choices matter and alter the course of time. And other times, there are clear paths to follow and you are just along for the ride.
I can think of my own life where I stare into the oncoming headlights of reality and know I must choose between options - like a red or blue pill. And sometimes, an advisor lays out the clear path to follow - like a yellow brick road with ruby red slippers.
Either way, there are choices to make and paths to follow. We are sojourners in this world and must learn to do both. If you listen to the podcast (I truly hope you love it), you will find that choices and paths don’t end entirely how happy endings should go, even after taking red pills and donning red slippers. The choices affect the story, but there are many forces at work (takes a bow) and just like life - most of time, we need to pivot and regroup.
This episode is all about that. I hope today that in your pivoting and regrouping between holidays and preparing for a new year, you find your self in a pack of sojourners along the path and making the choices with you.
May your story continue!
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