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Questions tagged [adventure-writing]

Designing and writing adventures, for personal use or publication.

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0answers
33 views

Any good free programs for written an adventure/setting book.m [on hold]

I've been working on an adventure and my own campaign setting. I want to be able to share them online in a professional looking pdf or eBook format. I was wondering if anyone here knows a good program ...
23
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
11
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3answers
330 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
20
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6answers
5k 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. ...
2
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0answers
263 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
4
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2answers
271 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 ...
4
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1answer
163 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
235 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” ...
4
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2answers
749 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 ...
1
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1answer
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
217 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 ...
9
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5answers
705 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 ...
13
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2answers
534 views

How has the relative combat prowess of Bugbears as opposed to Goblins changed over time?

Bugbears are the big bad goblinoids. A single average bugbear has always been more than a match for a single average goblin, in a straight up fight (which sort of fighting neither generally employs). ...
2
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0answers
82 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 ...
3
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0answers
265 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 ...
0
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4answers
843 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 ...
2
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4answers
174 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
661 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
183 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&...
32
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10answers
8k 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. ...
5
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4answers
583 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 -> ...
18
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
15
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5answers
2k 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” ...
4
votes
0answers
160 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
879 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
864 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
6
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3answers
823 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 ...
1
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2answers
367 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
611 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 ...
1
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0answers
89 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" ...
2
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2answers
536 views

How to decide if traps in OSR play should be obvious? [closed]

Obvious traps emphasize interaction with the traps, which is often interesting. Hidden traps make unexplored regions of a dungeon far more dangerous and reward careful play and cunning, as players ...
10
votes
1answer
254 views

How to design an introductory adventure heavily based on exploration and interaction with the environment? [closed]

Tower of the Stargazer and B1:In Search of the Unknown are two of my favorite introductory modules. The main reason is their focus on exploration; in particular, they feature extensive possibilities ...
18
votes
4answers
6k views

What do you do when avoiding railroading just gives you stuck players?

I'm seeking some newbie GM advice. I'm an experienced rpg player, but am much less experienced as a GM I was recently running an D&D 5e adventure, where the players would be investigating in a ...
8
votes
3answers
629 views

How can I design adventures or a campaign in the genre of superheroes to encourage active players?

This is related to a previous question I had, albeit more related directly to design rather than looking for a proof of concept. I've been writing some adventures with a house-ruled version of ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Is there any good way to introduce an adventure? [closed]

So recently I have found myself trying to write my own adventures. With little bits from other games and such I have found myself able to write the adventure, encounters, and everything else, but I ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why were AD&D modules designed for so many player characters?

Recently I've been looking through AD&D modules for session ideas. Something I've noticed is that many of the modules were designed for more player characters than I've generally seen in one ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

How Can I Re-Skin the Hacker in A Medieval Game of Leverage?

I'm designing a Leverage one-shot using Robin Hood's Merry Men, and I've got pretty much everything figured out but the Hacker. I'm trying to define exactly what a Hacker can do in a medieval setting, ...
5
votes
2answers
239 views

Can a Serpentis 3 vampire's scale fall off and keep existing after deactivating the power, as a clue?

In a scenario I am currently writing, I would like the players to follow the trail of some Followers of Set vampires that captured a Gangrel tribe leader. The starting point is the leader's ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the legal/ethical considerations of republishing old adventures for new editions?

I am a lazy GM and I rely a lot on published adventures. Particularly shorter ones: I get a lot of pleasure from tweaking and arranging them into a coherent narrative frame for a campaign. I've been ...
1
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1answer
240 views

Creating an artifact that the heroes must destroy? [closed]

I'm on a Lord of the Rings kick, so I'm curious how you'd create a major plot device that is both the main antagonist and the strongest weapon they have without killing the party with Ring Wraiths (or ...
3
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0answers
437 views

How can I make a short tutorial adventure for Pathfinder? [closed]

How do I design a short "Tutorial mode" adventure for pathfinder? I want to GM one for 2 of my players, to help them get into the normal mechanics of pathfinder, and show them how it works. It should ...
6
votes
1answer
253 views

Resources for adventuring building support [closed]

I am a new DM using D&D 5E, and I am building my first adventure. Stack exchange is a great resource for answering specific questions, but is there a good forum out there for getting broader ...
23
votes
1answer
3k 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
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0answers
908 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
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0answers
186 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 ...