Designing and writing adventures, for personal use or publication.

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17
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1answer
1k views

How can PCs defeat a magical Necrotic Cyst-based surveillance state?

In his excellent answer to this question, Brian Ballsun-Stanton posited a horrifying surveillance state using, at its core, a handful of powerful creatures, the feat Mother Cyst (LM 28), and a ...
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Writing D&D content (adventures, mostly) as a paying job, is it possible? [closed]

I've heard of people who write adventures and sell them, for real-life money. I'd like to know how is it possible, profitable, and if so where can I do it? I have rather good writing skills and ...
2
votes
0answers
87 views

Roleplaying play-by-post game for one [closed]

I spent quite some time trying to come up with such concept. By play-by-post I mean some kind of game of fiction, in writing. For the single person. What I'm looking for is some set of rules so that ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

How can I make this adventure more exciting? [closed]

I'm trying to make an adventure to advance a central plot and relate to a pc's history. It's set in a settlement with a civil werewolf population. Every full moon, they seclude themselves to protect ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

How to challenge epic level characters? [closed]

I've seen a lot of people ask about epic level characters in D&D. I have played a lot of D&D from 1e to 5e with only a short dip into 4e, which was so different (not necessarily bad, just ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Overcoming setting complexity paralysis as a GM

The problem What are the best practices to overcome that certain “complexity paralysis” that may strike a GM when trying to learn and immerse himself in a setting that has a lot of intricate ...
6
votes
5answers
193 views

How to write an adventure where the primary focus is the characters being hunted

My germ of an idea is that the PC's are in the Mist Realm (an alternate plane where visibility is dramatically reduced) and are being hunted by a group of Displacer Beasts. Under the PC's care are ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Ideas for a plot twist during a hijacking? [closed]

I'm devising a scenario set on a prestigious vehicle (ocean liner, Concorde, or similar). A little while into the voyage, a group of other passengers (separatist rebels) hijack the vessel via small ...
2
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2answers
103 views

Advice for creating/running my first city adventure session? [closed]

My group is playing Swords and Wizardry, they just went through Grimmsgate and we're branching out from there. I've never ran a city adventure before, but my group is really interested in more in ...
12
votes
3answers
568 views

How can I make puzzles a challenge for the character, rather than the player?

I'm designing an adventure, in which at one point the party meets a giant who will only let them pass if they solve some puzzles. However, the problem is that the riddles are a test for the player, ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I justify complete failure of an elven village's magic as a plot point?

I'm preparing to run my first session as a GM (Pathfinder but I don't think it matters for this question). I love the world building side of things, so I'm not too interested in pre-published ...
8
votes
3answers
504 views

How to GM a zombie-apocalypse game?

I was asked, not a long time ago, to GM a zombie-apocalypse one-shot. Being versed in horror-GMing, I decided to approach the genre as I approach most other genres of horror, but I've encountered a ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

How do I go about setting up a trial/investigation mission?

I have been running a freeform (no system, basic rules and sheets designed by yours truly), sandbox RPG with a friend of mine for about half a year now. It's my first GM experience and it's been ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What could replace the fear of dying in a spirit world?

I'm planning an adventure where after death, the PCs go to a kind of shadow world, as spirits. What would replace the fear of dying when you're already dead? What should I do to avoid a horror ...
4
votes
2answers
294 views

Writing a character-oriented adventure for characters you don't know

I recently finished a campaign that worked out pretty well, and was considering writing it down in order to share it. However, I realized that a lot of the plot points and twists are extremely ...
11
votes
2answers
322 views

What adventures lie in Laketown from The Hobbit in The One Ring

Spoiler As I re-read the classic book, I'm struck by the details that offer adventure opportunities. We learn what happens to Laketown, the Master, Bard and many others east of Mirkwood and in the ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do my players want to be superman in Dresden Files?

I'm on my third campaign using Dresden Files, and I'm noticing a pattern. There's an incredibly wide range of powers and abilities that a character can have, and an even larger number of ways to fluff ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

How to create an only skill challange quest?

First time playing D&D, first time DMing and first time creating a quest. The plot is simple: the players arrive at a town, they hear about a treasure and off they go to collect their riches... ...
7
votes
5answers
265 views

Adventures with an allegorical/philosophical flavour

This question comes as a result of me digging out some old Everway adventures that I remember working very well when I ran them. The common thread, as can be found in most of the Everway stuff that ...
7
votes
2answers
169 views

Could Belief in Little Fears: Nightmare Edition cause the dark side of the moon to really be dark?

I'm writing an episode which involves a plot by the monster Vanish involving possessing the dark side of the moon (if you don't know, his power is to possess shadows). I was going with the fact that ...
13
votes
8answers
11k views

Designing my own D&D Adventure

Currently, I am part of my first campaign of D&D 4E as a player and, I have been having fun. Sometime in the near future I would like to host my own game of D&D with my own adventure. So far ...
8
votes
3answers
348 views

Troglodytes, kobolds, and dragons, living together

I am currently working on an an AD&D adventure and am wondering if the following situation makes any sense: There's a green dragon that lives in a dungeon (surprise!) that is worshiped by ...
7
votes
1answer
312 views

Guards for a Raven Queen Temple

I have a party of four 3rd level adventurers. They will be breaking into a temple dedicated to the worship of the Raven Queen. There will be a ritual taking place in the sublevels of the temple. I ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

Looking for survivalist compound materials

I'm running a post-apocalyptic campaign in GURPS 4E, and the PCs are probably going down the path where their arch villain will be the leader of a survivalist group that has some crazy notions and ...
19
votes
3answers
482 views

How can I turn a B*-tree into a puzzle?

My players, being quite terrified of the consequences of injury (less research time), have asked me for a series of magical puzzles for their next adventure. I have decided that, roughly, it will ...
10
votes
12answers
751 views

How do I design a Christmas-themed horror adventure?

'Tis soon the season and I want to treat my players to a Christmas-themed adventure as part of my ongoing horror campaign. I want to keep the horror element, but I don't mind mixing in a bit of humor ...
11
votes
2answers
573 views

Advice for writing and publishing a setting/extended campaign for an existing system

I have been playing and GMing rpgs for a number of years, and a little while ago I had what I believe to be a really good idea for an original campaign setting for Savage Worlds, my system of choice. ...
12
votes
5answers
626 views

Designing scenarios for infrequent, short sessions

I have GMed for a group of friends for over 10 years, mostly in the world of darkness and the Dresden Files universe. We really enjoy the character play, the storytelling and the occasional outburst ...
15
votes
5answers
545 views

Adding comic relief

As a GM, I would like to add comic relief to my sessions. Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. ...
7
votes
2answers
561 views

Maid RPG Scenario?

I'm having trouble coming up with a scenario for my friends and me to play using the Maid RPG book. I've looked over the character creation and random events, and have looked at some of the examples ...
29
votes
16answers
1k views

How do I get the PCs to visit scary places at night?

Sometimes when I design scenarios, I realize that my mental image of the adventure is only exciting because it takes place at night. When the players actually play through the adventure, they might ...
40
votes
16answers
2k views

Dungeons that aren't dungeons

I'd like to make a "dungeon" for my party to explore, but it needs to be something other than an old-school "dungeon". Underground hallways and rooms with creatures in them have been overdone for us. ...
22
votes
7answers
990 views

Difference between writing a one-off scenario and writing a quest for a campaign?

I want to get some of my friends into roleplaying by running a self-contained single-session game with them rather than an actual campaign opener (for lack of a better term, I'll refer to this sort of ...
32
votes
15answers
2k views

How do I keep NPCs from just sounding the alarm?

When I design adventures, I often come up with situations where the NPCs could realistically thwart the PCs quickly by sounding an alarm. This is especially common in science fiction settings, where ...
15
votes
4answers
236 views

Where can I post quests I've written online for others to use and benefit from?

I've written a few quests now and documented them fairly thoroughly. Are there any places online where I can share them so that others would be able to review and use them if they needed to? It would ...
14
votes
7answers
397 views

How do I write a one-off scenario that could lead into a larger campaign?

Here's the situation: I've got a group of people interested in getting together for a fantasy roleplaying game, with me as their GM. This particular group hasn't all gamed together before, we're ...
10
votes
5answers
336 views

Suggestions for how to simulate the players performing a robbery?

For our next session I'm considering making robbing an artifact from a noble the central event of the quest. However, I'm not quite sure how to go about this as I've never actually played or seen a ...
22
votes
4answers
448 views

How do I construct an individual session as part of a larger campaign?

I've been GMing/DMing on and off for years. I prefer playing. Mainly because when I run a game, I'm more a fly by the seat of your pants kind of dm, and it works sort of.. My problem is that, while I ...
11
votes
3answers
650 views

Adapting literary works into RPG adventures

Beowulf is a classic tale which has been translated many times and has had many film adaptations. Seamus Heaney's new translation and Frederick Rebsame's translation are good starts if you have not ...
9
votes
3answers
273 views

Good source for a dark/weird dryad concept?

I'm working on an adventure that involves obtaining the wood from a dryad's tree, and would like to present the dryad as something other than the typical depiction. I have some ideas, but am curious ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Building a good comedy adventure?

I was wondering how to build a comedic adventure for D&D (or at least get some tips on it). The DM guide mentioned the multiple ideas for campaigns and one of them was comedy! I tried to start ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Are there any official guidelines for Shadowrun payouts?

I'm trying to figure out how much to pay Shadowrunners for a job, and how to balance the NPCs. I couldn't find anything in SR4A (though I could've missed something). I've only played in a couple of ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Does anyone have any templates for Scrivener?

I want to start using Scrivener to plan a game and am looking for some templates for characters, locations, encounters, etc.
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Guidelines for Writing a Convention Scenario

I am in the process of playtesting my RPG system, and I want to put together a scenario for convention play. But almost all my experience as a GM is with long, customized campaigns that are highly ...
2
votes
2answers
206 views

How can I use this in a one-shot for The Esoterrorists?

Ehud Netzer, the Israeli archaeologist credited with discovering the tomb of the biblical King Herod, has died after falling during a dig. What spin can make this a great adventure for The ...
9
votes
4answers
322 views

Adapting Kafka's The Trial to a scenario

Last evening I had the priviledge of seeing quite an ... interesting ... adaptation of Kafka's The Trial. I am wondering if the community has any suggestions on the best ways to adapt it (or other ...
14
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13answers
2k views

Where do I get inspiration for good scenarios?

What are the best [not only RPG related] sources of ideas for a good scenario? I'm not asking about ready scenarios, but inspiration to create your own. For starters: Shutter Island movie - good ...