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For my Pathfinder campaign I write an update each session which I share with my players. The goal for these updates is:

  • Provide a brief recap of the previous session
  • Get people excited for the next session
  • Be entertaining
  • Provide some additional lore

Here is an example from earlier in the campaign:

Approaching Sandpoint

A villain thwarted, a new companion found and a scroll retrieved. A great deal had happend to the Friday Knights since they left Sandpoint. What would they be facing upon their return? Sandpoint would certainly be different than when last they saw it.

What to do first? They had debts to collect and an old wizard to speak to. Then where to? All their immediate plans were at an end. Only time would tell what lay ahead...

Recently I've had somewhat of a writers block on these. My recounting of events has become drier and less interesting. I'm looking for advice on how to write these to achieve the goals listed above. Particularly how to write the cliffhanger type endings to get people excited for the next session.

How can I write a recap to make people excited for the next instalment?

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+50

While you are recording the info during the campaign take note of specific things your players reacted to and use them to pull your players back into the story. Remind them of decisions they made and rewards they recieved.

"Finally, the team has rescued their new employer from the clutches of Zizi Madshadow. There were a lot of close calls, and one completely obliterated druid. But, with the help of a very smart badger and Elsbeth's amazing rock throwing abilities the mission was a success."

Then use foreshadowing to push them into the next episode or campaign. Hint at a few things you have in store for them. Use questions to lead them in.

"Now, back at the library, they report for their first official day on the job, wondering what exactly a library needed a team of armed adventurers for. Retrieving memoirs and manuscripts from old scholars and churches couldn't be that dangerous, could it?"

You could also drop little temptations that appeal to your players motivations. "Will Sheina, finally find a dragon to ride?" "Is there enough cheese in the library to satisfy our rangers craving?"

Be specific and play on the personalities of your party.

4

give your narrative voice some rules

Who is telling this story? What is the POV?

Is this a children's storybook narrator filled with condescending wonder?

Is this a salacious fantasy book blurb splashed over an epic fantasy poster?

Is this fan-fiction from a 14yo?

Is this an in-story bard who only speaks in rhyming couplets?

Maybe it's the letters home from Jimmy Scrambles the NPC junior member of the campaign who still has a lot to learn.

Maybe it is the thwarted villain, or the old wizard, or some throwaway character retelling the story from their POV.

They could always threaten revenge, or console themselves that those roving briggands will meet their fate when they get to the TUNE IN THIS WEEK TO FIND OUT!

0

I used to run a Star Trek RP game and when doing cliffhanger-esque sessions all the time. Normally I'd start off the next game with a short recap about who was where and when and why.... Since this was Star Trek, they had a distinct format for this model and would always begin with "Previeously on Star Trek: [Series Title]" and end with "And now the continuation/conclusion." The format of the ending statement differentiated to the view if the episode was expected to also end on a cliffhanger (continuation) or wrap up the story started in the previous episode(s) (conclusion).

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