Situational vs Plotted adventures
I was designing the next adventure for my modern day horror/sci fi campaign. The PCs will be recruited into a special agency with the government and I have all those adventures planned and ready to go. They have already finished the first adventure, based on Robert R. McCammon's Stinger.
After review, I decided that the group should go through at least two, possibly three, unrelated "incidents" before being asked to join the agency. These adventures will serve to prove the characters' resourcefulness, resilience, and their ability to act.
The first adventure was written in a standard format. One alien crash lands on earth just outside of a small Texas town named Desolation, located 15 miles from the Mexican border. The alien ejects just before the wreck in a little blue sphere that a 9 year old girl finds. The alien possesses the girl, locking her mind up in the sphere. This is the good alien.
About 10 hours later a second alien lands on the town. This alien, named Stinger by the first alien who calls herself Dauphin, is an intergalactic bounty hunter. Stinger starts hunting for the first alien by digging tunnels under the town that come up through the floors of the building and homes. Stinger kills the people it finds and replicates them as cyborgs that do his bidding.
The PCs befriend the Dauphin, discovering that she is a rebel fighting for her species survival. They join forces with her and journey through the tunnels into the alien spaceship where they confront and kill Stinger. Dauphin possesses the body of a mentally retarded war vet, giving him the eternal peace and security of the blue sphere. Then she takes the ship and leaves Earth to fight her battle.
Pretty straightforward right?
I decided to do something completely different for the second adventure. No aliens, no monsters, nothing weird or supernatural. This adventure is more circumstance and situational comedy than anything else. This adventure is based on the novel Tricky Business by Dave Barry.
The players are on a gambling ship during a severe storm. The owner of the ship set up a planned robbery of the $4 million that he has laundered for the Chinese Triad. One of the men working for him has decided to keep the money for himself and has no qualms about killing everyone else involved, covering his theft up. Added to the mix are some stoned band members, a naked woman with a knife, two 80+ year old geriatrics, and an undercover DEA agent who is a single mother and lives with her mom.
The adventure is purely circumstantial. The pc's just happen to be there while crazy stuff is going on. I have nothing planned to get them involved, nor do they have to do anything. I'm wondering how involved the players will get in this adventure and whether they'll enjoy the change of pace.
So what do you think? Which style or adventure would you rather play? Why?