The Quintessential Adventure Design Methodology

When designing an adventure, there are two obvious methods.
  1. Construct the plot. Then select an appropriate master villainhenchman, and minion
  2. Select the master villain, a henchman, and a minion. Then construct an appropriate plot around them.
The first method is probably the easier solution, particularly when using any form of random plot generation. Moreover, a plot is the primary foundation of every tale. Regardless, with the information provided here, neither method should prove too difficult.

Why begin with a villain and not the hero?

Villains play the most crucial role in every tale. The villain is even more essential than a hero. A hero is only as good as the villain is evil. Every phenomenal hero requires an equally phenomenal villain. Without a threatening villain, any hero is less impressive.

From an author's point of view, a villain is the foundation of action, adventure, story, and conflict. The villain is the antagonist. As such, he's active and aggressively pursues his goal. The hero, on the other hand, tends to be passive or reactive.

Therefore, a villain initiates action and sets the adventure in motion. Conflict emerges only when the villain's pursuit of a goal or desire interferes with the hero's goal or desire. Without conflict there is no story, no challenge for the hero to overcome.

From a design viewpoint, each adventure is essentially the villain's tale not the hero's story. The villain provides a hero with purpose and direction. A villain gives the hero some reason to take action.

Typically, a villain creates an opportunity or circumstance for the hero arise. Rarely does a hero give rise to the villain. However, a villain and a hero generally define one another as mirror images of each other.

Furthermore, villains tend to be far more interesting and unpredictable characters. Heroes tend to be predictable and less interesting, because they're reactive. Only from a reader's viewpoint is an adventure the hero's story.

More to come...

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