Choose Your Own Adventure, the Blogwalk

A wise man once said “Have at least one stupid idea each day”. This is mine, for today. What if we created a big, potentially open-ended Choose Your Own style adventure that crosses blogs, themes, systems and genres like a big multi-blog based Fighting Fantasy/Megadungeon sprawly thing?

(This is in part inspired by the brilliant Delvers Tales blog by the inimitable Ken St Andre. I heartily recommend you check it out!)

Here’s how I envisage this could work.

One person writes an opening scene which ends with two or more choices. Those choices link to posts on a different blog where the author in turn writes a scene, followed by links to other blogposts elsewhere, and so it goes on.

For example, the opener could go something like this (only probably better written):

After three days travel you have finally arrive at the Blasted Oak which is said to conceal a doorway into the Underdark visible only under a cloudless full moon. Local legends say that anyone who makes it through alive will return richer than the wealthiest of kings. Night falls and the fates bless you with a clear pale moon which reveals the outline of a door wrought in the finest silver.

Do you:

Open it?

Search for traps?

The links head the reader into other blogs where the story continues. Each scene can be as long or short as the writer wishes – from a single line (“You find no traps and continue to Open the Door.”) to a full-blown challenge, combat or NPC encounter with multiple paths leading like a spider web to yet more blogs.

Use any rule-system you wish – indeed, a part of the fun would be to see just how many systems this can jump between – and it’s up to the reader whether they play through the encounter or just fudge it. Add back-links to previous posts if the reader is able to retrace his steps or can take multiple paths to the same route. I suggest that each post also includes a Start Here link just to help folks out who stumble in part way through.

Think of it like one of those games where someone draws a head, another draws the body, a third the hips, etc. Except in this case you can see what’s been drawn in advance, and you’re writing, not drawing. Ok, not like that at all. But kinda.

Of course, most of the time you’re going to be writing blogposts before you know who is going to write the following ones (unless you’re really lucky, or organized. Or both). Just leave the links flagged as either (Coming Soon!) or (Needs Writer!). If you’re the lucky soul who picks up that path, either leave a trackback or a blog comment and the link can be filled in later.

Net result: one sprawling mutli-author adventure spanning many blogs, all heading in anarchic directions around a common thread. Sounds like fun to me.

What do you think?

See. I told you it was a stupid idea.

17 Comments on “Choose Your Own Adventure, the Blogwalk”

  1. The cross-blog CYOA sounds like it would be completely impossible to pull off – but I want to do it anyway. Lemme know when it goes down ;).

  2. Yes, I think to pull it off you would need to write a scene, leave some choices unlinked, and then at the bottom of the page leave a “See a choice that doesn’t have a link? Write it yourself!” In fact, it would be nice to have a canned intro and a canned “write it yourself” texts pre-written. If you want to contribute, just copy the canned texts, then insert your story and choices in the middle.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to have a “definition” page as part of the canned “write it yourself” text. If the reader is interested, they follow the link to a page that basically sums up the information you’ve provided in this post.

    In any event, I would contribute. If it really takes off, I might contribute multiple times!

  3. I think it’s a great idea but I’m still mulling over the practicalities. DeadGod’s suggestion is a good one, though. Hmmm…. more thought required.

    But yeah, count me in.

  4. I think I could squeeze some crosslinks and paragraphs into I’m up for this adventure, Greywulf. What I would suggest is that we first write the situation with insert blog url here in brackets. A blogger reads that post, sends an email with a note saying, I’ll take opiton A, and when the first blogger gets that post, he changes option A to the second blogger’s URL. It’s kind of like time travel–one might have to go back to each blog multiple times to see all the options. That builds traffic to each site, and who’s to say that old blogs have to remain fixed once written. I know that wordpress allows us to edit our blogs at any time. More chaos! I love it.

  5. Most excellent!

    @Ken It would be great to have you on board!

    I’ll post up the Introduction and first paragraph by the end of the week, and leave the links unlinked (so to speak) until the next writer has published their contribution. Claim ownership of the links in that post – not here! – so that I (and other folks) can easily see which links still need writers and which don’t.

    Coming soon – Blogwalk Fantasy #1 : The Curse of the Vault

    Oh yes.

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