Encounter Pages take advantage of some of the unique properties of the internet, allowing greater flexibiliy and opportunity for customization than traditional print media. The basic concept involves a stanardized format for defining encounters for role-playing systems in a way that fulfill the following goals:
Every encounter in the Encounter Page format should, as the name suggests, be a single, full page. For complex encounters, mutliple pages should be used, but the encounter should always exactly fill however many pages it uses. The idea is to allow gamemasters to combine the Encounter Pages they wish to use together.
Each encounter should contain the following sections:
Abstract: A brief description of the scene.
Dramatic Purpose: A description of how this scene is intended to move or otherwise contribute to the story.
Metagaming Purpose: A description of any motivations for the scene that don’t relate to story. Such purposes do not always exist, so this section will not always be present.
Setting: Describes the environment of the scene, as well as any critical props that may be present.
Order: Comments on how this scene fits chronologically with other scenes. In some cases, this may be part of a fixed order, other cases may be more free-form. This tends to be relevant only when scenes are collected together by their author, and may not be known for simple "one-shot" scenes.
Principals: Other than the players, the people, creatures or other entities involved in the scene, usually with statistics. Typically, motivation for important characters is also described here. In many cases, the statistics for the principles may be displayed as a sidebar on the enounter page.
Specifics: A more detailed description of the scene.
Variations: Not always listed, this section suggests some typical ways to modify the scene to fit differing campaigns.
Outcome: Possible outcomes expected of the scene. This section will also summarize any booty that might be discovered in the scene.
Debugging: Suggestions on what might go horribly awry.
Field Testing: Comments about how the scene was modified in the writer’s own running of it, and how it turned out.
Like encounters, major characters should be listed in a single page. Again, this allows gamemasters to include just those characters they want to use.
The format for characters is looser than encounters, as much of the information on the character will be game specific. Still, each character should contain at least the following fields:
Type: The general type of the character. This might include their class, race, archetype or other categorizing information.
Concept: The general idea behind the character.
Use: How the character is meant to be used. Often, this may reference Encounter Pages.
Dramatic Purpose: The dramatic purpose the character serves, such as "primary adversary", "comic releif", etc.
Birthplace: Where the character is from.
Gender: The character's gender.
Hair: The character's hair color and style.
Eye Color: The character's eye color.
Skin Color: The character's skin color.
Height: The height of the character.
Weight: The character's mass.
Stereotype: Suggested shortcuts for the gamemaster to find the voice, appearance and personality of the NPC. Usually characters from movies or television are listed as shortcuts to the character's appearance, voice and/or bearing.
Style: The character's personal style.
Known Languages: The languages the character knows.
History: A detailed history of the character.
Goals: What the character wants.
Items of Note: A description of special items the character carries.
Generation: The system (if any) to generate the character. For example, if the character was built with the standard character generation system, then improved with so many "points".