The RPG scenario is an interesting form of writing.
It’s a technical document, of course, and a set of instructions to a gamemaster about how to create a particular experience as well.
As I write Eternal Lies, though, I’ve also been thinking more and more about a theoretical scenario reader who has little or no intention of actually running the Eternal Lies campaign, but is interested in delving into its setting as fiction. Given the way a scenario has to be presented, such a reader would have a vastly different experience than he or she would in reading the same material in the form of a narrative—as a novel, say, or a film. There are few—or no—dramatic reveals in a scenario, after all. You can’t keep secrets from the gamemaster or you’ll break the whole thing. But on the other hand, the truly omniscient perspective the writer of a scenario adopts can give the reader all kinds of deep insight into a world that a novelist or screenwriter can essentially never provide. The RPG scenario is almost like a story presented in a form of an encyclopedia.
I’m enjoying thinking about writing Eternal Lies this way, as I write it.