Questions tagged [adventure-writing]

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

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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&...
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6 votes
2 answers
395 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 ...
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49 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 ...
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  • 1,358
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 ...
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  • 1,358
21 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
161 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
113 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 ...
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  • 315
2 votes
0 answers
67 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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
0 answers
122 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 ...
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  • 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 (...
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23 votes
9 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 3,950
2 votes
1 answer
147 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 ...
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7 votes
0 answers
180 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 ...
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  • 171
13 votes
5 answers
6k 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, ...
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12 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
465 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 ...
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  • 4,222
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 ...
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  • 359
14 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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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. ...
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  • 1,327
2 votes
0 answers
736 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 ...
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  • 3,897
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 ...
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  • 1,003
4 votes
2 answers
389 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
303 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. ...
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  • 11.6k
7 votes
1 answer
329 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” ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
400 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 387
2 votes
0 answers
100 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 ...
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  • 291
3 votes
0 answers
628 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 ...
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  • 31
0 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
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  • 167
2 votes
4 answers
290 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 ...
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  • 333
5 votes
1 answer
892 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 ...
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  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
227 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&...
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33 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. ...
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5 votes
4 answers
638 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 -> ...
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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 ...
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  • 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” ...
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4 votes
0 answers
176 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 ...
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37 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 ...
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  • 2,345
12 votes
3 answers
448 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 ...
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  • 17.5k
10 votes
5 answers
944 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 ...
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  • 3,929
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 ...
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  • 3,950
4 votes
2 answers
28k views

Options for breathing underwater [closed]

I'm taking the plunge (pun intended) and having a go at writing my own aquatic based adventure. I intend to use settings of a port, a ship, underwater and a hidden (air and water) cavern. I've ...
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7 votes
3 answers
933 views

What good options are there for this version of a classic D&D moral quandary? [closed]

In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Module 3, the players eventually come to room 10A. My question is... what are the players' options for dealing with the contents of this room? Some possibilities come to ...
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  • 15.9k
1 vote
2 answers
414 views

How to build an interesting Dungeon that exists to kill the players? [closed]

So, here's the deal. I'm DMing this campaign for a long time using the Brazilian scenario called Tormenta. They have 20 superior gods for the world of Arton. My players are about to get to the epic ...
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  • 4,351
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

How are monsters/creatures/npcs presented in Fate setting manuals?

Background I'd like to add a list of creatures, monsters, and characters to a Fate project, like the D&D Monster Manual. I understand that the GM usually writes NPCs custom per game, but I want ...
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  • 789
1 vote
0 answers
146 views

Ideas for a new scenario (mutant style) [closed]

My first question here, let me know if I can improve my question. Or if I'm asking in the wrong place. :) I'm planning start a modern campaign with my friends and I would like to create a "mutant" ...
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  • 111