Questions tagged [adventure-writing]

For questions about designing and writing adventures, for personal use or publication.

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9 votes
2 answers
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Is this quest possible without being too easy?

I'm concocting a scenario for my players. In this scenario, in order to convince a ghost to hand over the keys to a valuable piece of property, they'll be given a quest: "To redeem {a paladin ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 2,524
8 votes
3 answers
587 views

How to handle a plot twist for a character arc?

One of the characters of our roleplay is an elf with amnesia. His background is that he lost his memory and is looking for someone but doesn't remember who he was. I asked the player for more details ...
Alexis Mercado's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

In the final act, how to drop clues without causing players to feel "cheated" they didn't find them sooner?

I'm a bit of an "on the fly" GM: in terms of writing a story, I prefer to sketch out the skeleton, and add flesh as the players move along the limbs. The quest to find the Plot Device, at ...
order's user avatar
  • 3,905
14 votes
7 answers
3k views

How do I make a non-permanent death more impactful?

One of my players is going to be playing the homebrew Felis race for the campaign I'm going to be running. In the race description, it states that they have nine lives, and they typically die once ...
Mushroom_DM's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
497 views

Separate Session Starting?

I'm starting a campaign with a few of my friends pretty soon, and I'm going to be DMing. I wanted to find a way to really ground their characters into the world and get to know them, so I think I may ...
Mushroom_DM's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
246 views

What does a D&D adventure format look like? [closed]

I am writing a D&D story and I am new to the world of D&D, and wanted to make an adventure of my own. I am not quite sure how to write one though. How should I format it? What format are D&...
Dragonicweeb_007's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
432 views

How to add a magical composite bow to a treasure haul?

This is a matter of clarity in writing. When I have a Composite Sortbow with a strength rating of +2 and a +1 magical enhancement, what is the clearest way to write this on a loot list? Precedent is ...
Weckar E.'s user avatar
  • 3,471
52 votes
9 answers
5k views

How do I handle when my players overestimate the importance of an encounter/a location?

TL;DR: How can I (and should I) make the players' efforts worth their while when they overestimate the importance of an encounter or a location? I am running a homebrew DnD 5e adventure where the ...
FerventHippo's user avatar
  • 2,027
51 votes
9 answers
6k views

How can I check if a new group is OK with a plotline from an ethical standpoint without spoiling the plot?

TL;DR: I am unsure if the plotline I planned is "too dark" for a new group, and would like to discuss the level of grit with them without spoiling the plotline. How can I do this? I am ...
FerventHippo's user avatar
  • 2,027
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I run an adventure with the party in competition with an NPC party in a race for the MacGuffin?

I'm looking at the next leg of our campaign being a "race for the MacGuffin" scenario. The PCs (Rolemaster) have been chasing an evil sorceress for a while now. She is currently on her own but will ...
Ginger McMurray's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
188 views

Ideal group size for a murder/horror mystery [closed]

I am writing a short murder/horror mystery adventure. System will be D&D 5e, and players will be level 2 (I plan to give them the 3rd level during the adventure). There will be some strong DM ...
WakiNadiVellir's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
125 views

How can I write up interesting filler for my campaign? [closed]

At the end of the fourth session, just yesterday, I actually ran out of content for the session almost an hour before I thought I would. So I'm going to employ the old 'Adventurer's Guild' trope to ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 315
2 votes
0 answers
70 views

Need a simulation of a lost recording related to a murder mystery game realted to the murder on former UN secretary [closed]

I'm a scout leader in Sweden and I'm preparing a murder mystery for my scouts. We prepare simulated tasks for them so that they gain more intel so that they can solve the mystery of the death of Dag ...
K. Maxwell's user avatar
42 votes
7 answers
6k views

How to guide my players into realizing they have multiple options available for an encounter?

For my next session with my PCs, I'm planning to have them witness an attack on an NPC that's intended to hook them the adventure. The plan is for the party to encounter his daughter, who also has a ...
NeutralTax's user avatar
  • 3,060
3 votes
0 answers
134 views

What makes a convincing mafia? [closed]

I am currently in the process of creating my own world, in a Victorian Era/Industrial Revolution/Steam Age setting. It's not overly steampunk but light elements of it are acceptable, as well as some ...
Frazic's user avatar
  • 39
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Picking the right CR for a tier two party's boss encounter?

I am currently writing an adventure for D&D 5e, for character levels anywhere from 5 to 10, and am trying to find the right boss. A Mummy Lord is the perfect monster for the plot, however the CR (...
Evoker of Mulmaster's user avatar
23 votes
9 answers
6k views

When designing an adventure, how can I ensure a continuous player experience in a setting that's likely to favor TPKs?

I am planning to design a Adventure which has a strong political flavor and is taking place in the Nine Hells. Its gonna be an evil campaign. I plan to let the heroes start at level 15 and require the ...
Zaibis's user avatar
  • 3,991
2 votes
1 answer
149 views

How can I design a scenario to include one remote player in a way that accounts for the resulting issues? [closed]

Similar situation to this question: Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user I will have one remote player, but I'm not worried about technical aids. My question is rather ...
SpacemanSpiff's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
225 views

Using D&D as a medium to help learn IRL language? [closed]

I am a DM of a small group of friends; we prefer D&D 5e but this question can apply to any TTRPG. My friends have some experience with English, but are not comfortable with it. Lately I've been ...
redwinter's user avatar
  • 181
13 votes
5 answers
8k views

How can a Lich look like a human without magic?

This question is for 5e; I've posted a similar question for Pathfinder here. I'm designing a character for a campaign whose role is to be a recurring antagonist. When the characters first meet him, ...
Balefire Liege's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

How could a Lich maintain the appearance of being alive without magic?

I'm designing a character for a campaign whose role is to be a recurring antagonist. When the players first meet him, I want him to seem undeniably human. The idea is that the party will "kill" him ...
Balefire Liege's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
590 views

What type of creature would "canonically" want to take over a Goblin hideout?

I am running a The Lost Mines of Phandelver. The party has just completed the Cragmaw Hideout encounter in an interesting way: I realize that I am the DM and I can put whatever I want there and make ...
SaggingRufus's user avatar
  • 4,313
24 votes
9 answers
5k views

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

I run a fantasy campaign and a sci-fi campaign. I always find it much easier to create interesting content in the fantasy world than the sci-fi world. In fantasy, for instance, a dungeon can be many ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 359
17 votes
3 answers
12k views

Are there any other ways to travel between the layers of the Nine Hells besides the River Styx?

I'm planning on creating an adventure where the party become trapped in Nessus, the 9th layer of the Nine Hells, and must make their way through the layers of the Nine Hells up to Avernus, the 1st ...
NathanS's user avatar
  • 79k
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I seamlessly incorporate character backstory into a pre-written campaign? D&D 5e [closed]

I am about to start a long running campaign with a bunch of friends and because of the predicted length, several of my player wrote me several pages of backstory and I really want to incorporate them ...
Youjay's user avatar
  • 5,620
20 votes
6 answers
6k views

How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

I need help to introduce a plot device for the next scenario I intend to GM. I need a way to cover a large area of grassland (a few miles in radius) with high, thick and near impenetrable vegetation. ...
Forseti's user avatar
  • 1,347
2 votes
0 answers
918 views

How to write an enjoyable multi-table adventure? [closed]

Together with a few friends, we want to run an interleaved D&D 5E multi-table adventure (Adventure League “EPIC”, Pathfinder Society “Special”, “Battle Interactive”) for our games society in the ...
Anaphory's user avatar
  • 3,965
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I reference a Monster Manual stat block in an OGL adventure?

I'd like to publish an OGL adventure for 5e. In order to keep its size small, I'd like to avoid having to repeat stat blocks for simple creatures like the skeleton, the zombie, etc. And because not ...
Kerrick's user avatar
  • 4,044
4 votes
2 answers
421 views

How do I make quests rewarding for my player?

General question: Beside money or items, what else might be the reward of a quest? If the quest itself if supposed to be the reward, how to make the quest itself rewarding? Specific premise: I am a ...
user289661's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
360 views

How do Author Only Adventures privileges get granted in Adventurers League?

Author Only adventures are adventures for Adventurers League (AL) that are written by individuals that can only be run in their own campaigns as Adventurers League official until sold on DMsGuild. ...
Praxiteles's user avatar
  • 11.9k
7 votes
1 answer
450 views

What are Tier appropriate gold awards for Adventurers League adventures?

How can I get my adventure published as an Adventurer's League official module? describes the process for submitting adventures from conventions to Adventurers League to become certified “legal” ...
Praxiteles's user avatar
  • 11.9k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What AL Treasure Tier is a trained mount or an exotic pet beast?

We are writing a CCC Convention Adventure for Adventurers League that grants animals as part of the treasure blocks. Adventurers League generally restricts the frequency and commonality of the magic ...
Praxiteles's user avatar
  • 11.9k
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is Tier appropriate treasure for Adventurers League adventures?

This SE question describes the process for submitting adventures from conventions to Adventurers League to become certified “legal” CCC-AL adventures. Adventurers League generally restricts the ...
Praxiteles's user avatar
  • 11.9k
1 vote
1 answer
430 views

How to avoid imbalance when introducing a necessary but powerful item with this scenario on inter planer travel. (A followup question) [closed]

In my previous question I asked about the legitimacy of creating an interplanar portal that would return PCs to the wrong place or time. Can I have an interplanar portal return someone to the wrong ...
Acts7Seven's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I balance adventures around one of the party members being a monarch with bodyguards?

So for our campaign, we're trying something different just to see how it works out. We have a party of several standard D&D characters, and also, a king character. The king character is ...
Razmode's user avatar
  • 387
3 votes
0 answers
105 views

A way for zombies and humans to cohexist [closed]

Preliminary Information I couldn't find any other reliable website where I could ask this question, even though it has no specific answer (which the rules suggest). But I have a strong feeling this ...
Gil Sand's user avatar
  • 301
4 votes
0 answers
686 views

Help Running a 5e Wilderness Trek (Hour-by-Hour) [closed]

So I will be DMing D&D 5e for the first time with a couple of friends (who will also be playing D&D for the first time), so I created a simple homebrew adventure. It's a Point A to Point B ...
Willow's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I plausibly force the party to choose between saving one of two NPCs? [closed]

In an adventure I am currently writing, I want to force my players to make a choice between saving one of two NPCs. I think it's important that the players make a choice between these two NPCs to ...
JD Reese's user avatar
  • 167
2 votes
4 answers
298 views

How do I balance ASoIaF's theme and tone with fun for my April Fools'-themed session? [closed]

I am currently the GM of an A Song Of Ice And Fire RPG game for a small group of old classmates. As we do neither have a set schedule nor meet very often, (once every couple of months or so) I spend a ...
Arizan's user avatar
  • 333
5 votes
1 answer
946 views

How do I make this idea of a Session 0 game of a campaign work?

I've recently finished reading Dungeon World and will be running a session 0 as a first time GM for my friends, who are also almost completely new to the tabletop RPGs, and I'd like to ask you for ...
HadnuR's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
233 views

Can having the ultimate outcome of a one-shot adventure rest on a final roll work?

I'm new to RPGs and I'm part of a group with more experienced players. My challenge right now is to create a short adventure as a one-shot (and that's why I'm asking here and not them). We use AD&...
BoaConstrictor's user avatar
35 votes
10 answers
11k views

True Resurrection ruins plot hooks

The existence of the spell True Resurrection is playing havoc with my plot hooks. A king's daughter (his heir) was a high level adventurer who got TPKed while fighting an excessively powerful monster. ...
BobTheAverage's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
647 views

How many (loosely linked) layers of story are managable for the players? [closed]

While plotting the course of our "campaign", picking up adventure or story ideas, I have come to a point where multiple plots interleave. But not in the classic, homogeneous "adventure -> story arc -> ...
TheNickOfTime's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
4k views

Convincing characters to take up epic quests in a (mostly) realistic world

Background I'm the DM of a role playing group. Improvised rule set. I've created a world for my players where I have tried to be as close to 16th century reality as possible, with the additions of ...
firelynx's user avatar
  • 382
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do I turn a scenario idea into an adventure?

I'm still struggling with, as a GM, turning a scenario idea or a goal of the PCs' into a proper adventure. A proper adventure has challenging, multiple steps — I'm failing to get the “multiple steps” ...
GaryFurash's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
181 views

Is there a precedent for NPCs knowing that the PCs are controlled by players? [closed]

I've just read NPCs by Drew Hayes and it gave me an idea for a plot in which the NPCs in the game world somehow know that the PCs are characters being controlled by other people. Is there any ...
Fogmeister's user avatar
38 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is the Five Layer Model of horror scenario design?

I'm designing a horror part of my campaign. I've heard of the Five Layer Model for horror scenario design but I'm not sure what it is. Has anyone heard of it and if so can you either explain it or ...
Skathix's user avatar
  • 2,359
17 votes
4 answers
538 views

Isolation and the unknown in modern horror/investigative scenarios

I am currently planning my next long term game and intend to run a Cthulhu based campaign set in the modern era. I have experience of writing scenarios for the 1920's, but am having issues with some ...
Wibbs's user avatar
  • 17.8k
10 votes
5 answers
962 views

Handling dungeons in a non-heroic setting

For non-heroic I mean that players have no quality beyond any other human (in a fantasy world): If players have access to magic, it's scarce and more utility than power Players can easily die (as any ...
Masclins's user avatar
  • 3,976
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could a campaign become demotivating, if there are too many options? [closed]

For our last session I decided to put in a sidequest for my group expecting them to just finish it as they get it. But they were in different interests, while some of the characters (or actually the ...
Zaibis's user avatar
  • 3,991